Catheter Bag Best Practice

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    I am looking for "best practice" protocols for changing from a bedside drainage bag to a leg bag on a daily basis. For instance, what do you wipe the ends with? How do you store the bag not being used? Do you rinse it with anything and if so, what? Thanks in advance for any information.
  2. 7 Comments so far...

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    We don't change the bags at night, ours have an antireflux valve. We try to keep breaks in the system to a minimum. We also get rid of the catheters as soon as possible, and begin bladder protocols such as timed voids, intermittent straight cath, etc.
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    I have had two long-term in-home patients whom we switched to a leg bag and vice versa for daytimes/overnights. At both locations I worked with women who had been caregivers for much longer than me; and both places we used alcohol wipes to wipe off any connecting ends BOTH after disconnecting and prior to reconnecting. The bags were rinsed at one place with 50/50 vinegar and water (to kill the urine smell) and then ran through with warm water, then hung to dry. The other place they were just rinsed with soapy warm water and hung to dry. Both places, both bags had the antireflux chambers as well. I don't know if this is best practice or not, but is what I was accustomed to.
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    Nickos, where did you rinse the catheter bag? --I trained at a place where they told us to rinse the bags with a solution of bleach and water. We didn't have easy access to the solution and my trainer just had me rinse the bags in the sink. The offical word was not to rinse the bags in the sink. It was pretty hard to get water into the bag without spilling into the sink.
    I work in an acute-care facility and we just empty the Foley catheters into a container and dump it. The Foley catheters are discontinued as soon as possible.
    For Zassi fecal "systems", we switch out the collection bag regularly. RNs irrigate the rectum and the line regularly.
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    Wise Woman RN,

    Do you keep the leg bags attached to their legs? Do you have skin issues because of this? What size leg bags do you use?
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    In both places we rinsed the bags with the connecting tubing still attached; running the water from the faucet and angling it down so it would run through the bag. Then up and drained over the toilet. Not fancy, I'm sure....
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    nrsstephanie, we don't leave them fastened to the leg. They are unbuckled for the night, the cath secure device keeps the catheter from pulling on the patient, and the bag stays beside the patient in the bed, or it can hang over the edge a little bit. I think they hold about 1000 ml. The cath secure thing is like a stat-lock for IV's, only bigger.
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    My son is quadriplegic from an MVC and has a suprapubic cath. He uses a large bag at night and a leg bag during the day. We were taught at Craig Hospital to use alcohol pads on the connections, wash the bags out with water and then wash them out with bleach and water (1:10). Then you hang them to dry until the next change. This has worked great for the last eight years. He very rarely has UTI's. This must be done with each bag change without fail.


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