Dr. Albert Farr
5 October 2012
How to insert a Foley Catheter
Catheter insertion is a medical procedure that empties the bladder of urine. First off, I should mention that there are three different types of catheters. The most common and the one I will be explaining in this paper is the Foley catheter or indwelling catheter. Which is a flexible latex tube inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. The tubing can also be made of Teflon, non-latex and silicone. Next, we have the Texas Catheter or external catheter. This has a stretchy latex cap that fits over the head of the penis, like a condom and the urine drains through a tube connected to the cap. This is used mostly for incontinent people who have no bladder retention problems. Finally, we have the Suprapubic catheter this one is for very long term use, possibly life, since a tube has to be surgically implanted into your bladder through a small hole in your lower abdomen.
There are many reasons why a catheter would be needed. Some of the most common reasons are prior and post-surgery, morbidly obese individuals who cannot ambulate, spinal injury, wounds that are not healing in an incontinent person and before and during childbirth and after childbirth if an epidural was given. Catheters vary in size, measuring in French units (12FR-48FR). The smallest size is usually recommended, but the larger sizes are used when leakage occurs or to allow urine thick with mucous or blood clots to drain through easily. Before you begin you must have un-opened sterile equipment and an understanding of the anatomy. You do not have to be licensed to catheterize yourself or if you are the caregiver of a loved one. You do need a state certification to catheterize patients in a nursing home or hospital setting. Before I begin explaining the how to, let me go over the equipment that comes in a “Cath kit”. You will have a sterile drape with a hole in the...
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