FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I change a catheter bag?
A catheter bag, or urinary drainage bag, should always be handled with the highest hygiene standards in mind. Before changing or emptying a urine bag, wash your hands thoroughly. If someone is assisting you, disposable gloves must be worn for your protection.
To remove a urine drainage bag, close the drainage tap or leg bag valve to stop the flow of urine. Gently disconnect the night bag from the valve or tap and dispose of the urine in the manner recommended by your healthcare professional. Most catheter bags are designed with a retractable drain spout, a clamp, or a cap to make the process easier. Regardless of the release device, avoid touching the tip of the spout as the urine pours into the container or toilet. When the bag is completely empty, clean the opening with an alcohol swab, close the bag, and wash your hands again. Proper hygiene and maintenance will decrease the chance of infection and extend the life of your catheter supplies.
How do I attach a night catheter bag?
The first priority when attaching, removing, or changing a night catheter bag is to observe proper and thorough hygiene to reduce the risk of harmful bacteria entering the urethra. If a caretaker is helping you, disposable exam gloves must be worn.
Night catheter bags can be attached directly to the catheter or to the drainage port of a leg bag. To begin the process, remove the cap from the urine drainage bag. If connecting the bag to a leg bag, remove leg bag straps or securement devices and carefully set the leg bag aside without tugging on the catheter. Firmly press the night bag connector into the existing outlet tube on the leg bag. If connecting the bag directly to the catheter, a sterile single-use valve must be used and handled appropriately. In either case, check that the connection is secure to eliminate leakage and open the tap on the leg bag or catheter valve to allow drainage. Position the night catheter bag on a stand or bedrail below bladder height to assist in proper drainage.
How often should a catheter bag be changed?
To protect yourself from possible infection, you should replace any urine collection bag that shows discoloration, damage, or wear and tear. Some urinary drainage bags may turn purple, but this change is not a cause for concern. Under normal circumstances, you should change your urine collection bag monthly, or whenever the manufacturer recommends. When changing your urinary bag, remember to change the entire catheter system. This routine will drastically cut down the risk of infection and malfunction.
What is the difference between a urine drainage bag and a leg bag?
Urine collection systems come in a variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and offer different degrees of mobility. By definition, a urine drainage bag is a system used to collect urine from an external or Foley catheter. In most cases, however, the phrase ‘urine drainage bag’ is used in reference to bedside or night catheter bags. These reusable catheter bags are typically made of strong, translucent vinyl with markings clearly printed on the side for easy monitoring of condition and output. They are larger than other urine collection devices ranging from 2000 to 4000 ml and are typically used by bedridden patients, fall-risk patients, or anyone with limited mobility. Convenient hanging apparatus makes them compatible with wheelchairs and hospital beds. Other common features include anti-reflux valves, specimen sampling ports, and long non-kinking drainage tubes.
Leg bags have a much smaller capacity than urine drainage bags and are designed to be worn on the body, usually by patients with normal mobility. These discreet catheter bags are strapped onto the calf or thigh and connected to a catheter by a tube. A variety of catheter bag accessories including extension tubes, leg bag straps, and leg bag sleeves are available for added convenience. Leg bags will require more frequent changes and are therefore rarely used at night.
Can you reuse a night catheter bag?
Most night urine drainage bags are reusable and should be thoroughly cleaned after each use. When properly maintained, reusable urine drainage bags will not need to be replaced anywhere from 2 weeks up to a month.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.