i thought that bladder irrigation after prostate surgery was to remove clots in the bladder and prevent oozing of blood. i have a multiple choice question that i am not sure of. it asks the purpose of continuos bladder irrigation after prostate surgery. my options are:
a. hydrate the pt
b. dilute the urine to stop clots from forming in the catheter
c. stop bleeding in the bladder
d. promote clot formation
in my first hospital nursing job we had lots of patients who came back from turps and had continuous bladder irrigations. it would help for you to actually see a patient who is getting this treatment as well as to see what happens when it is not carried out correctly and blood clots obstruct the catheter and cause the bladder to become distended with urine. it only happens to you once as a nurse before you watch these patients like a hawk. our orders were to keep the irrigant flowing so that the urinary drainage was "pale salmon colored". depending on how much bleeding the patient had, we sometimes ran as much as 10,000 mls of saline per shift through a person's bladder.
the answer to the question is that the irrigant dilutes the urine. by doing that it prevents the blood from having a chance to form clots. if the irrigant is run too slow or not at all, a condition exists where the blood is allowed to congeal and form blood clots. these blood clots will not be able to make their way through the holes of the foley catheter and end up obstructing it resulting in no flow of urine + irrigant through the foley catheter = bladder distension
. i saw this happen so many times to new nurses who had never had this kind of patient before. as i said, you make this mistake once as a new nurse. to correct it, you have to remove the foley catheter which is clogged with blood clots (hand irrigation won't help) and reinsert a new one (the first male catheterization for a lot of female nurses) and then keep the saline irrigation running as fast as it will go to keep that urine as faint a pink color as you can keep it!