Brief Note on Catheters

In this article, we will discuss Brief Note on Catheters. So, let’s get started.


Foley’s Catheter

A Foley’s catheter has 2 lumens one lumen to allow inflation of a balloon at its tip and the otheris for urine drainage. A balloon near the catheter tip helps to prevent dislodgement. Most adult catheters have balloons capable of accommodating 5-10 mL (3 mL in pediatric ones), but can go up to 80 mL in specialized urological catheters. The catheter tips are commonly straight but some may have an angled tip (Coude’s tip), which isdesigned to help overcome
the angulation (during insertion).

The drainage of urine is commonly into a bag in 1-2L capacities and may have an hourly urine measure chamber. For inpatients these bags are usually hung by the bed side. For improved mobility, however, there are also smaller ‘leg bags’ that can be strapped around the patient’s leg. Catheter valves, which can be connected directly to catheters, eliminate the need for collection bag and allow the independent and mobile patient to intermittently empty his/her bladder urine directly into the toilet.

A 3-way catheter is similar to a Foley’s catheter with a few exceptions that it has 3 lumens. The third lumen allows intermittent or continuous irrigation by connecting it to an intravenous fluid infusion set.

It is used when irrigation of the bladder is required Single lumen catheter is cheap and does not have balloon to retain the catheter in situ. It is mainly suited for patients who do intermittent self catheterization

Suprapubic Catheters

Foley’s catheters are also used for long term suprapubic placement. Insertion of these may be done under local analgesia in the ward with an introducer system or intraoperatively for more difficult

Special Catheters

• Gibbon catheters
• Nelaton catheters
• Tiemann catheters
• Malecot catheters


• Paraphimosis
• Blockage
• By-passing
• Infection
• Failure of balloon to deflate
• Urethral strictures

Do’s and Don’ts of Urinary Catheters

• Choose an appropriate sized catheter
• Insert using an aseptic technique
• Never insert using force
• Do not inflate the balloon until urine has been seen coming from the catheter
• Record the residual volume
• Do not use a catheter introducer unless you have been trained in its use
• If difficulty is encountered inserting a urinary catheter consider a suprapubic
• Remove at the earliest possibility
IV lines
– To maintain electrolyte balance
– To ensure nutrition and hydration

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