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What do you do if a Drainage Bag Becomes Disconnected From the Catheter?

Sometimes, a drainage bag can work its way free from the catheter. This is an inconvenience that can be embarrassing if you are out and about. Our product team  have come up with their top tips to prevent this happening.

Has the Foley Catheter Funnel Stretched?

The funnel on foley catheters, especially those made from silicone, can stretch over time. If you are wearing a long term catheter, it may be in place for up to 12 weeks with repeated pulling and pushing as you connect and disconnect drainage bags. This can cause the funnel to lose its shape and elasticity which could then lose its tight connection to the drainage bag. If your disconnection issues happen eight or more weeks after the catheter was inserted, this could be the reason. If this is the case, we advise you contact your District Nurse and arrange for a catheter change.

Choose a Foley Catheter With a Softer Funnel

Some foley catheters have harder funnels than others. Whilst you might assume the harder the funnel the better it’s memory and therefore the less likely it is that it will stretch, it does pose other issues. We have found that catheters with harder funnels can push out the valve or connector, causing disconnection issues early on. If you feel the funnel on your foley catheter is too hard, try an alternative brand such as the GB All Silicone Foley Catheter and see if there are any improvements.

Are you Switching Between a Leg Bag and a Catheter Valve?

A leg bag connector is wider than a catheter valve. If you have been using a leg bag for a few weeks and then switch to a valve you may experience disconnection issues as the funnel has stretched to the size of the leg bag connector. We would recommend reverting to a leg bag until your next catheter change.

Is the Foley Catheter Funnel Dry?

Always ensure that the catheter funnel is dry and free from residual urine before you connect your drainage bag or valve. Any urine present in the funnel at the point of connection will act as a lubricant and mean that the connection is less effective.

Is your Foley Catheter Fixated?

NICE guidelines state that a catheter fixation device, such as a GB Fix-it Retaining Strap, should always be used when a foley catheter is in-situ. This will prevent pain and trauma to the urethra. Using a catheter fixation device will also help keep the catheter stationary on the leg, reducing the likelihood of disconnection. You can get a sample of the GB Fix-it Retaining Strap here.

Other Articles you May be Interested in:

Five Common Questions on Foley Catheters

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

Which Catheter Bag is Right for Me?

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What do you do if a Drainage Bag Becomes Disconnected From the Catheter?