How to care for the bladder tube at home

The main steps to take care of someone who is using a bladder probe at home are to keep the probe and the collection bag clean and to always check that the probe is working correctly. In addition, it is also important to change the bladder probe according to the material and the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Normally, the bladder probe is inserted into the urethra to treat urinary retention, in cases of benign prostatic hypertrophy or in postoperative urological and gynecological surgeries, for example. See when it is indicated to use a bladder probe .

Keeping the probe and collection bag clean

To speed up recovery and prevent the onset of an infection it is very important to always keep the probe and the collection bag clean, as well as the genitals, to avoid a urinary infection, for example.

To ensure that the bladder probe is clean and free of urine crystals, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Avoid pulling or pushing on the bladder probe , as it may cause bladder and urethra sores;
  • Wash the outside of the probe with soap and water  2 to 3 times a day, to prevent bacteria from contaminating the urinary tract;
  • Do not lift the collection bag above the level of the bladder , keeping it hanging on the edge of the bed when sleeping, for example, so that urine does not enter the bladder again, carrying bacteria into the body;
  • Never place the collection bag on the floor, carrying it, whenever necessary, inside a plastic bag or tied to the leg, to prevent bacteria from the floor contaminating the probe;
  • Empty the probe collection bag whenever it is half full of urine, using the bag tap. If the bag has no tap, it must be thrown in the trash and replaced. When emptying the bag it is important to observe the urine, as changes in color may indicate some type of complication such as bleeding or infection. See what can cause urine color change .

In addition to these precautions, it is important to dry the collection bag and the probe well after the bath. However, if the collection bag separates from the probe in the bath or at another time, it is important to throw it in the trash and replace it with a new, sterile collection bag. The probe tip must also be disinfected with alcohol at 70º.

Care for the bladder catheter can be done by the caregiver, but it must also be done by the person himself, whenever he feels capable.

When to change the bladder probe

In most cases, the bladder probe is made of silicone and, therefore, must be changed every 3 months. However, if you have a probe of another type of material, such as latex, it may be necessary to change the probe more frequently, every 10 days, for example.

The exchange must be made at the hospital by a health professional and, therefore, it is usually already scheduled.

Warning signs to go to the hospital

Some signs that indicate that one should immediately go to the hospital or emergency room, to change the tube and do tests, are:

  • The probe is out of place;
  • Presence of blood inside the collection bag;
  • Urine leaking out of the tube;
  • Decrease in the amount of urine;
  • Fever above 38º C and chills;
  • Pain in the bladder or belly.

In some cases it is normal for the person to feel like peeing all the time due to the presence of the probe in the bladder, and this discomfort can be perceived as a slight discomfort or constant pain in the bladder, which should be referred to the doctor to prescribe medication appropriate, increasing comfort.

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