We’re using a Foley catheter to drain urine directly from the bladder for a short period of time. Reasons a patient might need a Foley catheter include:

  • An epidural is in place.
  • The patient is retaining urine.
  • We need to closely monitor urinary output.

In some cases, a care plan might require use of the Foley catheter for a longer time. The longer a patient uses the Foley, the more likely it is that irritation or infection might occur.

Our goal for patients using a Foley catheter is to return them to their home toileting routine as soon as possible, so we can remove the device.

While the Foley catheter is in use, we ask patients and/or their caregivers to partner with us to prevent irritation or infection.

Keep Hands Clean

Everyone (including nurses, doctors, the patient and caregivers) should thoroughly clean hands before and after touching the catheter bag or tubing. Hands should be washed with soap and water or sanitized with a waterless hand rub. Keeping hands clean is one of the easiest ways to prevent an infection from occurring with the use of a Foley catheter.

Keep the Foley Catheter Clean and Safe

No one should touch, tug or twist the catheter unless it’s absolutely necessary or a nurse instructs someone to do so.

Tell a nurse immediately if:

  • The catheter or connected bag is wet or dirty
  • The catheter and bag are not connected
  • The catheter or bag touches the floor

Watch for Signs of Infection

Tell a nurse or doctor immediately if the patient develops:

  • Fever 
  • Chills
  • Soreness or new drainage at the location where the catheter enters the body

If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your nurse.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.