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irrigating a foley catheter

I have a dr's order to irrigate foley catheter with 100-250 ml's ns. the pt has a 3-way catheter (to be specific-the tubing extending from his penis has 3 lumens, with 2 2-Liter bags ns infusing into catheter) which lumen do I irrigate? common sense would say the lumen that the cbi bags are draining saline into the bladder/penis. I almost thought I should irrigate the middle lumen (the one that drains into the foley bag, but thought about it and I don't think that's the right one.) I know someone will be able to give advice here. Thanks in advance.

Sounds like it is already irrigating. Just adjust the drip rate to meet Dr's orders and don't let it run out.

the lumen that the cbi bags are draining saline into the bladder/penis.


Is he c/o bladder spasm?

He may have clots and that is why the doc wants to clean them out.

Then will the CBI will work better.

Be aware that irrigating for clots can be extremely painful, let him know that before hand.


You disconnect from the lumen that is connected to the foley drainage bag. Use an irrigation set. Be sure to pinch off the lumen as it will leak. Irrigate and pull back-make sure you are getting all your saline back. It is completely normal to see clots and tissue. Manual irrigation is just as important as CBI. The CBI can be running and and masquerade as urine in the bag when it is just irrigation. The patient can be clotted of the whole time. Good luck.

Also--turn off the CBI while irrigating that way it is easier to tell if you are getting back the saline you put in.

Sorry, one more thing. I always tell the patient that they are going to feel ALOT of pressure when I irrigate but to take slow deep breaths and that I am going to take that pressure away as well. That seems to help. A B&O suppository helps too. (belladona and opium)

thanks to everyone who replied! I also called the doc to get an order for ditropan as this pt was having bladder spasms. I did disconnect and irrigate the lumen that drains to the foley-and, yes, he did feel a lot of pressure. the irrigation was ordered to flush out any clots present.

Sorry for my incorrect answer. I've been out of med/surg for WAY too long to be giving advice! Now if you need tips on irate surgeons...:)

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