A catheter is used to drain urine from your system if you lack the ability to do so. You see, there are some instances when your body cannot urinate. Sometimes, it may be due to an obstruction like a kidney stone or it can also be due to weak bladder muscles. You may also need a catheter if you lack the ability to go to the bathroom. This may happen if you have just finished surgery, are heavily injured, or are bedridden. Fortunately, you can use a catheter to drain the urine to keep you comfortable.
A catheter has different parts, depending on what kind of catheters they are. The Foley or indwelling catheter usually has a balloon attached to it that when filled, keeps the catheter in place within the patient. Additionally, there is the drainage bag where the urine is drained and removed from the body. The intermittent catheter, on the other hand, does not have the balloon at its tip. This type of catheter is meant to be used once and then disposed. Their simplistic design and disposable nature makes them ideal in daily catheter use simply because they are much better at preventing urinary tract infections.
Furthermore, there are two types of bags. There is the large drainage device and the leg bag. Usually, a leg bag is used for intermittent catheters since intermittent catheters are changed all the time and a leg bag can contain up to 500 ml of urine. The leg bag is typically attached to the legs with some elastic bands or medical tape. It is perfect for the patient throughout the day because it lets them have a catheter as while moving. The leg bag can be fixed under their hospital gown and patients are able to easily empty it out in the toilet whenever necessary. The large drainage device, however, is made for patients using indwelling catheters because those patients do not need to move as much.
To properly use a leg bag, you should keep it low enough so that the urine does not go back to the bladder. Also, make it a habit to empty the leg bag every 8 hours.
Also, you should replace it after using. This can prevent infections. To remove the leg bag for cleaning, you can remove its attachment from the catheter. From here, you may be tempted to clean it and strap it back on. Do not do this. Most physicians will advise against cleaning and reusing a leg bag because that presents a high risk of infection. Always swap out your used leg bag for a new, sterile one.
As you can see, it is really easy to use and maintain your leg bag. You must keep all aforementioned tips to heart if you are planning to properly carry out your daily routine while still wearing a catheter. Though at the same time, you must also keep in mind to periodically empty out your leg bag and replace it to avoid issues such as catheter-induced urinary tract infections.