The Foley catheter starts with a tube inside the bladder. The end of the tube includes a small balloon to hold the tube in place inside the bladder. To collect the urine, the external end of the catheter tube can be attached to a small capacity leg bag that can be used when leaving the house, or to a large capacity bag. The large capacity urine bag is referred to as a night bag though it can be used anytime of the day. Post surgery or long term health conditions may necessitate keeping the catheter in place after leaving a medical facility. The patient or healthcare provider will need to periodically empty urine from the Foley catheter bag.
Empty the Foley catheter night bag before it is half full or when switching to a leg-strapped catheter bag. Periodic emptying of urine from the catheter bag also makes it lighter for carrying.
Measure the volume of urine in the Foley catheter night bag if required by the doctor. The night bag has markings to indicate the volume of urine in the bag. Hold the catheter bag upright, look at the urine level, and write down the number closest to the level of the urine in the bag. Alternatively, the urine can be drained from the catheter bag into a measuring cup.
Gather supplies such as a measuring cup and a towel or large container to capture accidental spillage if draining the Foley catheter bag from the patient’s bed. No supplies are needed if the patient is ambulatory and can get to the bathroom. If emptying the catheter bag from the patient’s bedside, skip to Step 5.
Raise the toilet seat and then wash your hands. Hang the Foley catheter bag on the raised seat using the attached hook.
Grasp the green clothespin-like portion on the Foley catheter bag. The tip of the drain hose is tucked into a small, plastic sleeve to keep it clean. An arrow on the catheter bag points to the location to pinch and remove the drain from its protective sleeve. Removing the tip of the drain from the sleeve will not release the urine.
Hold the tip of the drain tube over the toilet (or other container if draining the catheter bag at bedside). The flow of urine from the Foley catheter night bag is stopped by a metal clamp that can be opened with your right or left hand. Release the clamp to allow the urine to flow by pinching the metal clamp while using the tip of your thumb to disengage the clamp closure. The drain needs to be lower than the catheter bag to allow the urine to flow.
After emptying the Foley catheter night bag, pinch the metal clamp to seal the drain. Wipe the tip with toilet paper and return the tip to its location on the bag, ensuring it “clicks” into place.