One of the most important things that you can do when you have a catheter is properly caring for it, mostly because not caring for the catheter can lead to all manner of health and hygiene issues. In most cases, a catheter is used to help people who are having trouble urinating by using a plastic tube to drain the urine from the body and into a drainage bag. Listed below are two ways to care for your catheter.
Drink A Lot Of Water
The biggest thing that you can do when it comes to keeping your catheter in good shape is to make sure that you drink a lot of water throughout the day. The primary reason behind this is in order to keep yourself urinating frequently in order to keep anything from building up in the catheter. If deposits are allowed to build up in the catheter itself, the urine may not be able to drain quickly enough and lead to an infection.
Keep The Catheter Clean
Another way to keep your catheter functioning properly is to consistently clean the catheter and drainage bags. The reason for this is that it can prevent foul odors, discomfort, and infections. With the drainage bag, you are going to want to make sure that you clean that bag completely at least once a day by utilizing cold water.
You will always want to avoid hot water when cleaning a drainage bag because the heat can actually damage the bag itself. Once you have rinsed the bag, you can utilize a mild dish detergent to clean the interior of the bag before rinsing it again. For persistent or strong odors, you can even add a bit of white vinegar to the bag and let it sit for a while before rinsing out the vinegar solution to neutralize any odors.
Now, when cleaning the catheter itself, it is very important to wash it correctly as the wrong technique can lead to infections. If you wipe up toward your body when cleaning the catheter, you are potentially moving the bacteria or waste up to the spot where the catheter enters your body, which can trigger an infection. Instead, wipe away from your body when you are cleaning the catheter to keep the bacteria and other potentially harmful waste away.
Contact your doctor today in order to discuss what you can do to keep your catheter clean and in good shape. Drinking a lot of water and cleaning the components of the catheter are both very important when it comes to keeping your catheter functioning properly and yourself free of an infection.