This should be followed for anyone who has a urinary catheter in place and forms part of the infection prevention and control procedures.

1. Principles

People with a urinary catheter in place are at an increased risk of acquiring an infection as bacteria can enter the urethra at the point where the catheter enters the body.

The date of insertion and the reason for catheterisation should be recorded and the need for continuing catheterisation should be regularly reviewed by the GP with a view to removal as soon as possible.

2. Procedural Steps

Step Action By Whom
1. The point at which the catheter enters the body should be cleaned daily with soap and water. Care staff
2. Prior to handling the catheter or drainage bag, hands should be washed and a clean pair of non-sterile gloves worn. Hands should be washed again after removing gloves. Care staff
3. The drainage bag or catheter valve should be connected to the catheter at all times except when changing the bag. The closed system should be maintained to reduce the risk of infection. This means closing the valve, changing the bag and reopening the valve. Care staff
4. At night, any special day bag should be replaced with the night drainage bag following the process above without breaking the closed system. Care staff
5. The drainage bag should always be kept lower than the bladder to allow urine to drain. Care staff
6. The bag should not be allowed to touch the floor as this can increase the risk of infection. A catheter bag stand should be used. Care staff
7. The drainage bag should be emptied regularly to maintain the flow of urine. It should not be allowed to become more than two thirds full. Care staff
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