Q:

How do you irrigate a suprapubic catheter?

A:

To irrigate a suprapubic catheter, use the outside casing of a syringe to pass saline solution through the suprapubic tube and bladder. The saline solution washes any mucus in the tube out through the Foley catheter and into the drainage bag. To prevent infection, focus on sterility when self-irrigating a suprapubic catheter.

  1. Assemble the supplies

    This procedure requires two 60 cubic centimeter syringes and a bottle of normal saline.

  2. Prepare the parts

    Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the tubing or syringe. Open the saline bottle. Pull the plunger completely out of the syringe casing. Recline at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees.

  3. Add the saline to the suprapubic tubing

    Disconnect the suprapubic bag’s tubing from its drainage bag. Attach the syringe casing to the tubing. Fill the casing with 60 cubic centimeters of saline. Elevate the syringe casing and tubing to promote drainage into the bladder. The liquid drains through the bladder, out the Foley catheter and then into its drainage bag. If fluid appears in the drainage bag immediately, irrigate once more, disconnect the syringe casing, and reconnect the suprapubic drainage bag.

  4. Flush, and aspirate with saline

    If saline remains in the casing, drain and discard it. Remove the casing from the suprapubic tubing, replace the plunger in the syringe, and then draw up another 30 cubic centimeters of saline into the syringe. Inject the saline slowly into the suprapubic tubing, but do not force it. Gently pull back on the syringe. Mucus may appear in the tubing. Repeat this step once. Remove the syringe and reattach the tubing to the drainage bag. If you encounter resistance when injecting the saline, stop, reattach the drainage bag, and then move it about. If drainage does not appear, get a fresh syringe, and repeat the entire process with the Foley catheter. Do not use the same syringe for both the suprapubic tubing and the Foley catheter. Wash hands and syringes when finished.

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