How often should you empty a catheter bag?

  1. 0
    Our ward protocol says that IDC bags should be emptied at the end of each shift. One of my colleagues says that she was taught at uni' only to empty the bags when necessary because opening a bag to empty it is creating an unnecessary portal of entry for possible infectious bugs. Our ward manager said that if she can provide evidence of this theory then the ward protocol would be reviewed. However, she can't find any literature to support her arguement.

    It sounds plausible to me. What does anyone else out there think, and is there anyone who can direct me to a study or some literature to support her arguement?
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    i honestly don't think it's anything noteworthy.
    uo almost always needs measuring, thus, 1x/shift is perfectly reasonable.
    likelihood of infection, i would think, is next to nil...
    certainly not enough to warrant change of procedure.

    maybe i'll snoop around.

    leslie
  5. 0
    Quote from earle58
    i honestly don't think it's anything noteworthy.
    uo almost always needs measuring, thus, 1x/shift is perfectly reasonable.
    likelihood of infection, i would think, is next to nil...
    certainly not enough to warrant change of procedure.

    maybe i'll snoop around.

    leslie
    I agree. To measure I/O's you have to empty at least once/shift. And if you think about it, all that urine left in the bag is moisture to breed bacteria anyway. So either way you look at it....
    Just the very act of inserting a cath is risk for infection.
  6. 0
    That would never work on my unit. We treat CHFers all the time. Tons of Lasix! Sometimes you can't empty those bags quick enough. LOL. Anywho....I was always taught to empty the bag when it needed emptying. But opening up a portal does makes sense if you think about it.
  7. 1
    We empty them at end of shift, unless they're fixin' to bust.
    donsterRN likes this.
  8. 0
    I'm with mamason - we give LOTS of lasix. Our official policy is to empty qshift as all of our floor gets qshift I/O, but more often if it's full of course. We have a foley bundle to try to prevent infection - they are dated when put in, must have statlock, pericare q shift, bag below bladder of course - and now we also do a UA when it is put in to be sure patient doesn't already have an infection. We are putting in less and less due to infection unless we just really need a very strict I/O like on an incontinent patient who has CHF or renal failure. We pull them as soon as possible.
  9. 1
    I empty them as I see they need emptied. BUT.. I am anal. If they're half full and it's only 9AM, I'm going to empty it. I had a patient on Lasix and in 2 hours, he was filling the bag, so I emptied it 4 times on one shift. Sometimes, I will find one or two that the other aides or techs didn't empty on their shift, so I will immediately empty it.

    I don't want to risk my patients at risk for a UTI if the bag gets so full that it backs urine up into the bladder.

    I'm really anal about Foleys....
    psalm likes this.
  10. 1
    We empty q shift, unless the situation warrants it more frequently.

    It's never less frequently because foley cath= I&O
    psalm likes this.
  11. 0
    Forgot to add that I chart as I empty...
  12. 0
    Quote from Mommy TeleRN
    I'm with mamason - we give LOTS of lasix. Our official policy is to empty qshift as all of our floor gets qshift I/O, but more often if it's full of course. We have a foley bundle to try to prevent infection - they are dated when put in, must have statlock, pericare q shift, bag below bladder of course - and now we also do a UA when it is put in to be sure patient doesn't already have an infection. We are putting in less and less due to infection unless we just really need a very strict I/O like on an incontinent patient who has CHF or renal failure. We pull them as soon as possible.
    Our foley bundle also includes that the bag be emptied before it is 2/3 full. The worry here is that the statlock will fail, and the potential weight of the bag could cause trauma to the patient and thus lead to infection. We have been told that if the foley has been in for more than three days, the patient is almost guaranteed to have an infection.

    With the new medicare requirements that would refuse payment for hospital stays that include nosocomial infections, you bet more and more patients will be screened for UTI on admission, and fewer and fewer foleys will be placed.


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