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The Consequences of an Unsecured Catheter

Catheter securement means ensuring that the catheter is anchored in some way to prevent pulling, tugging or sudden movement. This is done through the use of a fixation device which can be either an adhesive device or a retaining strap. They work by holding the catheter in place whilst still allowing natural movement.

We have talked about the importance of catheter securement in the past, but what are the possible consequences of not securing your catheter?

Damage to the Bladder Neck

An unsecured catheter can be easily pulled or tugged when moving about, causing the catheter to become dislodged. This in turn can cause urethral tearing and damage to the neck of the bladder.


UTI, CAUTI, Infection

If a catheter is not stabilised it can increase your risk of a catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) which can cause pain, discomfort and a fever and may require antibiotics to treat. You can read more here on ways to prevent CAUTIs.


catheter pain

If you don’t secure a catheter, you are more likely to experience excessive traction on the catheter. This can cause immediate sharp pain and bleeding as the catheter is pulled as well as longer term trauma and damage to the urethra.


catheter bypassing

Bypassing relates to when there is urine leaking around the catheter, rather than draining through it. Unsecured catheters have been identified as a potential cause of bypassing.



Cleaving or urethral erosion, is a severe consequence of not securing your catheter, whereby the catheter is pulled with enough force that it tears through the penile or labial tissue. This would not only be painful but cause future complications including possible surgery.

As you can see, the consequences of leaving your catheter unsecured can be painful and traumatic. Prevent such complications by ensuring that you secure your catheter correctly. Request a free sample of the GB Fix-it Retaining Strap today.


Other Articles you May be interested in:

What do you do if a drainage bag becomes disconnected from the catheter?

What is a Catheter Securement Device and why is it Important?

How do you Secure a Catheter Bag?

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The Consequences of an Unsecured Catheter