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Dr. Das, MD
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What are the different reasons why a foley catheter would leak.

Resolved Question:

What are the different reasons why a foley catheter would leak. I am a home health nurse , RN, and have a patient who's catheter leaks when she bears down, ( Like when she's passing gas, or having a BM, or standing from a sitting position (has painful weak knees). What different things can I try to help this situation. This is a new Foley to her. Placed last week because of her decubes on her buttocks. ( situation where there is absolutely no quality care giver to help keep her skin clean). She is using a 16 fr, with 30cc SNS. Would a different size help? Or a smaller inflated balloon?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Das, MD replied 5 years ago.

The commonest cause for a leaking Foley's catheter is using a smaller size then necessary. You will need to use a catheter with a larger gauge.

A small inflated balloon will not help.

Another cause for a leak could be weak bladder sphincter muscles which fail to adequately grip the catheter. This is very common in women of her age. Your patient will need to see a urologist to rule out this condition.

Please try using a larger gauge catheter - that should help prevent the leak.

I hope this helps.

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