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Catheter Bags

 A catheter bag is used in a closed catheter system, meaning there is no opening from the catheter bag to the bladder. Cleanliness of the catheter supplies and catheter bag are of the utmost importance as germs and bacteria can easily enter the urinary system and cause infection from both male catheters and female catheters. The drainage bag needs to be kept lower than the hip to prevent urine from flowing back into the bladder. The tubing of the catheter system needs to be checked for leaks or kinks every day.


How should a catheter bag be emptied?


The catheter bag should be drained at least two to three times a day. If you’re using a catheter leg bag, it should be emptied when it is 1/3 to 1/2 full. Catheter bags should never be allowed to fill up completely as this will increase the pressure on the catheter and cause irritation and tugging at the catheter's point of entry. This can also cause the catheter to be too heavy and bulky to carry around.


1. Thoroughly clean your hands before and after emptying the catheter bag.

2. Always keep the catheter bag below the hip to prevent urine from flowing up the tube and back into the bladder.

3. Empty the contents of the catheter bag into a clean container if the doctor is monitoring the urine. Otherwise, empty the bag directly into the toilet.

4. Open the spigot at the bottom of the catheter bag to empty. Make sure the spigot does not touch the toilet or container as this will contaminate the bag with bacteria.

5. Use a gauze pad or cotton ball to clean the end of the spigot with rubbing alcohol.

6. Tightly secure the spigot to prevent the catheter bag from leaking.

7. Do not rest the catheter bag on the floor at any time.


How should a catheter bag be changed?


Catheter bags should be replaced at least once a month. If there is discoloration, clouding or odor, the catheter bag should be changed more often.


1. Thoroughly clean your hands before and after changing the catheter bag.

2. Disconnect the catheter from the catheter bag tubing, being careful to not tug on the catheter end. Make sure to avoid touching the catheter ends or tube when disconnecting them.

3. Use a gauze pad or cotton ball to clean the ends of the catheter bag tubing with rubbing alcohol, along with the tubing end of the replacement catheter bag.

4. Tightly secure the replacement catheter bag tubing to the catheter to prevent leaking.

5. Clean the connection site with alcohol and cap the tubing end of the catheter bag not in use.


How should a catheter bag be cleaned?


Catheter bags should be cleaned if switched to a leg bag during the day, and leg bags should be cleaned when changing back to the catheter bag at night.


1. Thoroughly clean your hands before and after cleaning the catheter bag.

2. Disconnect the catheter bag from the catheter.

3. Using a plastic squirt bottle, rinse the catheter bag and tubing with water and drain it.

4. Mix a solution of 10 parts tap water and 1 part bleach (approximately 5 ounces of water to 1 tablespoon of bleach).

5. Pour the bleach solution into the catheter tubing and bag. Swirl for half a minute and drain the bag.

6. Leave the bag out to air dry.


If the bleach solution proves to be too harsh to handle, substitute for a vinegar solution that is 3 parts tap water and 1 part vinegar (approximately 1 1/2 cups of tap water to 1/2 cup of vinegar).


Call Liberator Medical today at 1-888-244-0789 for more information on our Catheter Supply-Care Program, and Foley catheter bags.

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Click links below for more information on: Types of Catheters
Catheter Bag CareCatheter CareCatheter InsertionCatheter Supply CareSelf Catheter Care
Female Catheter Information: Types of Female Catheters
Female Catheter CareFemale Catheter InsertionFemale Urinary CatheterFemale UTISpeediCath CompactCure Twist
Foley Catheter Information: Foley Catheter Types
Foley CathetersFoley Catheter CareFoley Catheter InsertionFoley Catheter Removal
Male Catheter Information: Types of Male Catheters
GeeWhiz Male External CatheterMale Catheter InsertionMale Urinary Tract Infections
Additional Catheter Information: Catheter Types
Catheter InsertionCatheter PainFemale Catheter InsertionIntermittent CatheterizationMale Catheter InsertionWhy have a Catheter Supply Care Plan?
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