Guide to Maintaining a Catheter

Help the person you care for stay comfortable and clean while using a catheter.

Catheters have a balloon on the end that helps keep it in place… but it can fall out. Don’t panic if this happens. Just don’t try to put it back in yourself. Give your healthcare provider a call or go to your local urgent care center to have it put back in.

If they complain about pain, discomfort, they feel like they have to pee or you notice any unusual odours or colours of urine, blood clots or grainy pieces in the bag, contact your healthcare provider for follow up.

When they are laying down, make sure the tubing is OVER their one leg, not UNDER.

The urine drainage bag should always be hanging below their bladder level. Always hang it — never put it on the floor.

Don’t hang the bag on the side rails of a bed! If the rails are moved then the bag moves with it.

Observe the urine for any discolouration or foul smell — report to the healthcare provider.

Observe the catheter site for any discharge or bleeding — report to your Healthcare provider.

Check for any leaks in bag or tubes.

Look out for:

  • An empty bag or empty tubes: If there is no urine, make sure the tubing is not bent or blocked so the urine can flow freely.
  • A full urine bag: Drain the bag often — don’t let the urine fill up because it gets too heavy and could pull the catheter out!