Why insert a urinary catheter?  Anything that might block the flow of urine, clots in the urine, bladder stones, a narrowing of the urethra (tube from the bladder to outside) is cause to place a catheter.  Abdominal area surgery causes swelling that could pinch off the urethra. Typically a catheter is placed before surgery.

  Elderly patients with dementia are commonly catheterized for comfort reasons.

  Patients with a spinal cord disorder or injury that affects the bladder may cath themselves on a regular basis.

  It is VERY important to provide cath care per your facility’s policy.  This is important as catheters are at high risk for causing infection. Normally your urethra is naturally cleansed when you urinate normally. The indwelling tube provides a track  for bacteria to grow along and can cause a urinary tract infection.

Back to Nursing Procedures Index

*Consult your instructor and policy & procedure manual before preforming any nursing procedures. Slight differences may exist between this resource and your institution’s desired method.

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