Q:

How do you flush a Foley catheter?

A:

In order to flush a Foley catheter, the University of Miami Medical Center advises that the catheter must be separated from the drainage tube. However, supplies must be assembled before the irrigation process can begin.

As with any medical procedure, the Medical Center advises the patient to thoroughly wash his hands before beginning irrigation. The patient also must gather paper towels, cotton balls moistened with alcohol, syringes filled with irrigation fluid, and a bed pan to collect the urine as it drains. Before separating the catheter from the drainage tube, the patient must first wipe both pieces with the alcohol-soaked cotton balls. This ensures that the surfaces are as sterile as possible.

Once the area is clean, separate the two pieces, allowing the urine to drain into the bed pan. The patient then draws 1 to 2 ounces of fluid into the syringe, connects it to the catheter and gently presses the fluid inside. Using steady pressure, the fluid should fully irrigate the catheter. Once the urine is completely drained, the Miami Medical Center advises to clean all the surfaces with rubbing alcohol before reconnecting the catheter to the drainage tube. Once reconnected, the patient should clean himself and wash his hands.

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