In nursing homes, some residents need to use catheters. This might happen if they are bedridden or have particular health issues. Catheters need consistent and specific care. This will make sure that the catheter stays clean and is in good working order. Catheter neglect can result in a painful and dangerous situation for your loved one. Understanding proper catheter care can help you recognize any potential neglect or abuse.
Nursing homes use catheters when an individual cannot urinate on their own. It is a soft and flexible tube inserted through the urethra of the individual. The tube is then maneuvered to the bladder to remove urine from the body. The catheter drains the urine to a bag that connects at the end of it. People need catheters for many reasons. For example, it can help a person recovering from surgery. Or, a person with an enlarged prostate might need one. Another common reason is if they have the inability to release urine. A catheter used on your loved one may occur in a nursing home. The staff member who is using the catheter should know how to use it.
- Ensure that the catheter tubes do not become tangled or caught. This could cause serious issues for the individual using the catheter.
- Keep the urine collection bag below bladder level to ensure it moves smoothly.
- The individual using the catheter should be checked for infection and inflammation. These issues could appear around the catheter.
- The area around the catheter should be cleaned with soap twice daily. This will help to limit or prevent infection.
- The catheter should not get pulled on or removed by tugging.
- Powder and lotion should never be applied near a catheter.
- A person can shower while wearing a catheter unless otherwise told by a doctor.
Contact a Doctor If:
- Little to no urine has been flowing to the catheter for four or more hours.
- Your loved one feels as though their bladder is full and the catheter is not draining any urine.
- If your loved one has severe stomach or abdominal pain.
- If the color of urine has changed, seems bloody, or has blood clots in it.
- An infection occurs at the insertion site.
- Urine begins to smell distinct, bad, or different.
- Your loved one develops nausea or chills with shaking.
If your loved one is using a catheter, nursing home staff members should know how to use it. If complications occur, the staff member should contact a doctor immediately. A catheter is generally not a long-term solution for anybody, but in some rare cases it could be.
Removing a Catheter
When the catheter gets removed, it is important to keep an eye out for certain symptoms. These may be signs of a complication. Some common examples include:
- If your love one has burning while urinating which lasts for more than a few days.
- If your loved one has a lot of trouble urinating.
- Your loved one has blood or pus at the insertion site of the catheter.
- If your loved one has flank pain, (pain just below the lower rib cage).
- If your loved one has a fever, chills, or their body aches.
- Groin or stomach pain in your loved one.
If you think a caretaker has neglected to clean and watch a catheter, contact the authorities. You might have a neglect and abuse case.