Foleys and tampons?

Nurses General Nursing


Has anyone ever had a doctor order a patient to have a tampon in while having a foley? I've never thought that was a good idea . . . please don't start with the "well, it's two different holes!" (heard that one all day). I know that. But everyone always says how uncomfortable foleys are, and I speculate that having another tube shaped object in that area at the same time would not be fun . . . have a pt that's burned perianally and has a peroid so heavy that they cancelled surgery. Please advise/give opinions . . .

Thank you!

peri pad and frequent cleaning?

Specializes in ER, ICU.

I've got no first hand experience here, but wouldn't the tampon pose and increased risk of infection or UTI? I would think a maxi with frequent changes would be better.

That's what I thought, too, and that's what we had been doing, but this pt was carrying on and on . . . not sure if they just wanted to quiet her down and were looking for a new idea, but I had just never heard of that, and some of my coworkers were acting like that was a great idea. Have you ever seen anyone with that? Ever heard of it? Even if the pt wasn't burned down there? Just as a "comfort" measure so that the flow wasn't such a pain? I haven't, but I've only been a nurse for a few years, so wanted to ask.

Doesn't really seem to be a greater risk, and less irritation than cleaning frequently. Just schedule q4 changes from 8a-8p, and then once at 2a to promote sleep.

Has to be more comfortable for the pt. I have had a foley more than once, and they are really not so bad once placed.

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

I don't see why it would be so uncomfortable to have a tampon with a Foley. What would be the source of the pain/discomfort? Once they are placed, if your anatomy is normal, you wouldn't be able to feel them.

I suppose the risk of infection might be higher, but I would rather have a tampon than a big ol' Maxi pad that feels like a brick and chafes the skin.

Specializes in CVICU.

I suppose the risk of infection might be higher, but I would rather have a tampon than a big ol' Maxi pad that feels like a brick and chafes the skin.

Amen to this! I would actually think it would be more sanitary to have a tampon which is changed at regular intervals, than to have a Foley with a pad. I know it's going to sound gross, but it seems like a Foley in contact with a saturated pad would be a breeding ground for bacteria, as the blood is a great growth medium!

I wonder if anyone has ever done research on this particular subject? Heh...

I used to work on a surgical unit and tampons were never allowed pre-op or post-op. As far as I know, it was due to risk of infection, maybe due to leaving one in too long? However we didn't get patients needing perianal surgery and never had a surgery cancelled due to a heavy period so I have no experience there. Would the patient be able to change her own tampons after surgery? As a patient, I would be mortified if my nurse had to do that for me.

I have known people who said that wearing tampons decreased their cramps and discomfort compared to wearing pads, maybe she suggested it to the doc for that reason?

Isn't it worth a try - one tampon and she would know if it was more comfortable.

Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN.

Sounds like a feasible plan to at least try. Sounds like the pt is having a hard time and may be difficult to work with. I can't think of any reason to not at least give it a try one time, for all the above reasons.

I, myself hate the things, but I know I am in the minority.

I agree completely!! Place the foley with the tampon. Give it a go! If it doesn't work out, maxi, it is!! Where's her foley been all this time?

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