Urinary catheters

What are urinary catheters?

In urinary catheterization a latex, polyurethane, or silicone tube of various sizes, known as a urinary catheter, is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Catheterization allows urine to drain from the bladder for collection. A clinician, often a nurse, usually performs the procedure.
Catheters may be necessary in cases when you can’t empty your bladder. If the bladder isn’t emptied, urine can build up and lead to pressure in the kidneys. The pressure can lead to kidney failure, which can be dangerous and result in permanent damage to the kidneys.
Most catheters are necessary until you regain the ability to urinate on your own, which is usually a short period of time. Older adults and those with a permanent injury or severe illness may need to use urinary catheters for a much longer time or permanently.

What happens during the insertion of a urinary catheter at home?

A urethral catheter can be inserted by any health care practitioner, most often a nurse. No prior patient preparation is required. The bladder is catheterized through the urethra unless the urethral route is contraindicated.
Catheterization of the urethra begins with carefully cleaning the urethral meatus with an antibacterial solution. Then, using strict sterile technique, the catheter is lubricated with sterile gel and gently advanced through the urethra into the bladder.


After the procedure has been completed, the nurse will
• Remove the drapes.
• Secure the catheter to the thigh with an adhesive bandage or tape.

What does it mean to live with urinary catheters?

It's possible to live a relatively normal life with a long-term urinary catheter, although it may take some getting used to at first.

Types of catheters
• Intermittent catheters
Intermittent catheters are usually designed to be used once and then thrown away. How to use them varies from person to person. You may be advised to use them at regular intervals spaced evenly throughout the day, or only when you feel you need the toilet.
• Indwelling catheters
An indwelling catheter is a catheter that sits in the bladder. This type can be useful for short and long periods of time. An indwelling catheter can either drain into a bag attached to your leg, which has a tap at the bottom so it can be emptied, or they can be emptied into the toilet directly, using a valve.

Maintaining your indwelling catheter

You should empty the bag before it's completely full (around half to three-quarters full). Valves should be used to drain urine at regular intervals throughout the day to prevent urine building up in the bladder.
Leg bags and valves should be changed every 7 days. The bag can be attached to your right or left leg, depending on which side is most comfortable for you.
At night, you'll need to attach a larger bag. Your night bag should either be attached to your leg bag or to the catheter valve. It should be placed on a stand next to your bed, near the floor, to collect urine as you sleep. Single-use night bags are usually used to reduce the risk of infection.
The catheter itself will need to be removed and replaced according to your doctor’s recommendation. This is usually done by a doctor or nurse.

Risks of urinary catheters

Having a long-term urinary catheter increases your risk of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) and can also lead to other problems, such as blockages.
To minimise these risks you should:
• wash the skin in the area where the catheter enters your body with mild soap and water every day
• wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after touching your catheter equipment
• make sure you stay well hydrated – you should aim to drink enough fluids so that your urine stays a pale colour
• avoid constipation – staying hydrated can help with this, as can eating high-fibre foods, such as fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods
• avoid having kinks or bends in the catheter and make sure any urine collection bags are always kept below the level of your blad

When should you call your doctor?

Call your doctor if your catheter comes out. Don’t try to put it back in on your own.
Also, check with your doctor if you have:
- Blood clots or bright red blood in your pee
- Cloudy pee with a strong odor
- Fever over 38 °C
- Little or no urine
- Pain in your belly
- Swelling, redness, pus, pain, or burning where the catheter goes into your body

Why you should choose TheCareHub to do urinary catheterization

The urinary catheterization allows you to be at home, in a comfortable and familiar setting, rather than in hospital, and to benefit from the highest quality of service provided by specialised medical staff.

Why work with us?

Because together we build trusting communities for all ages.

What exactly does it mean? By choosing to work with us, you are supporting nurses in the community to have an extra income and a decent life. Many of them are elderly, even retired, as we encourage people to continue working and being active after retirement and support them to do so legally and safely.
Advantages of The Care Hub
♡ Reliable

We work only with qualified and experienced nurses, rigorously checked | Radu, the doctor in The Care Hub team, is always available, to avoid any complications| The Care Hub is approved as a home health care provider by DSP Timis and is in the process of accreditation with the Ministry of Health

♡ Quality

We have an average rating of 4.8* out of 5.0* from the 220+ families we've supported since 2019 | Read public reviews here.

♡ From anywhere

You can book a remote home visit for your loved ones: download The Care Hub app and request the visit - we'll take care of the rest | Monitor the start and end of visits in real time and check assigned nurses' profiles, assessments and reviews received | Pay securely.

How much does it cost to do a urinary catheterization procedure at home

The price of a urinary catheterization procedure includes labour (nurse's work) plus the price of the sanitary supplies.

Urinary bag change - 50 lei
Urinary catheter removal - 75 lei
Urinary catheter insertion - women - 150 lei
Urinary catheter insertion - men - 200 lei

For rates and a full list of medical services you can request at home, visit our medical services page.

How to request home IV service in your city.

Mobile or web app | You can request home IVs quickly and easily by downloading The Care Hub app for free from the App Store (if you have an iPhone), Google Play (if you have an Android phone) or by going online. Once you sign up for an account, you'll be able to select the services, day and time you want and pay securely and we'll assign the right nurse and confirm the visit!

Booking form | You can also ask us for a quote using the booking form and we will get back to you with a confirmation within 48h and the payment details.

Telephone booking | For those of you who prefer the telephone, please call us on 0373 800 190 to give us your address and the day and time you require. As soon as we find the right nurse we will confirm and send you payment details.
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We offer elderly care services in Arad, Bucharest, Cluj, Oradea and Timișoara. Sign up below if you want more info!
The Care Hub partners who will come to your or your loved one's home are certified and experienced nurses who we'd welcome into our own home.
Because your safety or that of your loved ones is paramount, we interview each nurse (2 of our colleagues attend the interview), ask for and check medical clearance, certificate of behavioral integrity, licensure and (if needed) references.
Many of our partners are recently or soon-to-be retired because we believe they have rich life experience, patience and great respect for the people they care for, and a natural desire to care for others. But we also work with people of other ages who are looking for flexible work and are also kind, respectful and empathetic.
You need your doctor's recommendation. Before the visit, please send us this recommendation to [email protected] so that we can share it with the nurse.
Most common sanitary supplies required for the indwelling urinary catheterization procedure at home include:
- Sterile drapes and gloves
- Povidone iodine with application swabs, cotton balls, or gauze
- Water-soluble lubricant
- Urethral catheter, as recommended by your doctor (size 16 French Foley catheter is appropriate for most men and women)
- 10-mL syringe with sterile water (for catheter balloon inflation)
- Local anesthetic (eg, 5 to 10 mL of 2% lidocaine jelly in a syringe [with no needle]) for distention and anesthesia of the male urethra
- Sterile collection device with tubing
Your nurse will advise before the visit on the exact supplies required. We will kindly ask you to have them ready at home. The cost of the supplies is not included in the procedure cost.

Sources and additional reading:

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