Going Home with a Urinary Catheter
Home Care Instructions
You will be going home with a urinary catheter (Foley) in place. A nurse will talk to you about
caring for the urinary catheter before you go home. If you have any questions or problems after
you go home you should call your primary care provider.
A urinary catheter is a small tube placed in your bladder to drain urine. The tube connects to a
bag that collects your urine.
How do I care for my catheter?
1. Always wash your hand before and after touching the catheter and drainage bag.
2. Wash the catheter from the insertion site and down toward the drainage bag.
3. Clean the urinary catheter twice daily, after a bowel movement and as needed with soap
4. Empty the drainage bag at least every 4-8 hours or if it is full.
5. Do not touch the end of the drainage spout.
a. If touched the spout should be cleaned off with an alcohol pad.
6. If the drainage bag disconnects from the catheter, clean the ends with an alcohol pad and
reconnect right away. Call your primary provider because the catheter may need to be
Important things you should know when you have a urinary catheter:
ξ Wash your hands before you handle the catheter or drainage bag.
ξ Make sure that the catheter is attached/secured to one leg; this will prevent pulling of the
ξ Make sure the catheter tube has plenty of slack and is not pulled too tight. Keep catheter
tubing in an "S" curve from insertion site to securing device.
o Wearing underwear can also help keep catheter tube secure.
ξ Make sure the tubing is not twisted or kinked.
ξ Always keep the catheter and drainage bag below the bladder and off the floor.
ξ Keep the catheter and drainage bag connected to keep out germs, unless your provider
allows you to use a leg bag during the day.
o Please do not lie flat if you have a leg bag attached. This could cause urine
backflow which could lead to an infection in your catheter.
ξ Keep the catheter and the insertion site clean.
ξ Urine may sometimes leak around the catheter. There is no reason for alarm unless the
catheter is always leaking or there is little or no urine going into the drainage bag.
What if I have problems with my catheter?
If the catheter is not draining into the bag or you have a lot of leakage around the catheter, try
ξ Change positions.
ξ Make sure that the bag is below the level of the bladder/pelvis.
ξ Make sure that the tubing is not kinked, twisted, or bent in half.
ξ Make sure that the securement device (leg strap or statlock) is not blocking drainage into
Call your primary care provider if any of these occurs:
ξ The catheter falls out.
ξ The catheter does not drain urine and you have tried one of the options above to fix it.
ξ Your urine becomes bloody.
ξ There is drainage around the catheter.
ξ Your temperature is greater than 100.5º F (orally) taken two times 4 hours apart.
HFFY 4591-Urine Drainage Bags-Home Use
Your health care team may have given you information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have
any questions. If information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your provider. This is not
medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s
health needs are different, you should talk with your provider or others on your health care team when using this
information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©12/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7856