FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does someone flush a 3-way Foley catheter?
A procedure usually performed by a medical professional, flushing a 3-way Foley catheter, also referred to as bladder irrigation, is the process of clearing blood clots or other particles slowing or blocking the flow of urine. To flush a 3-way Foley catheter, a caregiver will wash his or her hands thoroughly and put on protective gloves. Using a bulb syringe, room temperature sterile solution will be slowly injected into the catheter tube. If any resistance is met, the caregiver should not force the plunger in any way; rather the plunger should slightly retract and a second attempt should be made. In the instance the solution is completely stopped from entering the bladder, no further irrigation should be attempted. Once the solution has been fully injected, the tube will be placed in an irrigation tray allowing the solution to drain back out of the tube. In lieu of manual irrigation, continuous irrigation is possible by using a hanging bag system.
What is a 3-way catheter used for?
Three-way Foley catheters are used when regular bladder irrigation is anticipated. Gross hematuria and clot retention have many possible causes, but commonly include damage from prior traumatic Foley catheterizations, enlarged prostates, or malignant and benign bladder tumors. Chemotherapy and radiation can also cause bladder clots.
What are the parts of a 3-way Foley catheter?
3-way Foley catheters consist of a tube with 3 lumens, or channels, and a Foley balloon. The channels are individually encased within the tube and have different functions including drainage, Foley balloon inflation, and bladder irrigation. Just like intermittent or 2-way catheters, 3-way catheters may be made with different tip styles, features, and materials. Some 3-way catheter kits will include a urine drainage bag and irrigation supplies in addition to the Foley itself.
What is the difference between a 2-way and a 3-way Foley catheter?
Both 2-way and 3-way Foley catheters have a channel for draining urine and a second channel for inflating a tiny balloon at the end of the catheters to hold the tube in place in the urethra upon insertion. The three-way Foley catheter has a third channel within the tube for irrigating the bladder to get rid of blood and blood clots. You can either intermittently push the irrigant fluid through a large syringe or create a continuous flow with a hanging bag. Since the two-way Foley catheter has one less channel, it can drain a higher urine volume than the three-way Foley. Because of their blood clot removing ability, three-way Foley catheters are better for post-surgery use or in the instance a patient has a known tendency for blood clot formation. 2-way catheters typically provide a more steady and forceful urine flow while a 3-way catheter, with a smaller urine drainage channel, may be a bit slower to drain.
Which 3-way catheters are best?
Three-way Foley catheters are available from industry innovating manufacturers like Rusch, Kendall, McKesson, and Bard. Allegro Medical proudly offers Rusch’s Simplastic 3-Way Silicone Foley Catheter featuring a Couvelaire tip, a 30cc balloon, and 16" length. Two large drainage eyes allow easy removal of clots, debris, and mucous. We also offer DOVER Silicone Elastomer-Coated Latex Foley 3-Way Catheters by Kendall. This catheter has a non-reactive, non-adhering bonded silicone surface, large eyes holes and drainage lumen to facilitate urine flow, a thick funnel to help prevent collapse during irrigation, a reinforced tip to protect from stylet puncture, and a strong symmetric balloon to enhance confidence in catheter reliability.
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