How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17354
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. D. Love is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Bleeding from Penis After Foley Catheter Insertion - My disabled

This answer was rated:

Bleeding from Penis After Foley Catheter Insertion - My disabled uncle (69 years old) has an indwelling foley catheter. When the foley was changed yesterday, the new one was not inserted high enough up into the bladder when the 5cc baloon was inflated with water. Immediately, he started bleeding from the penis. Seems like the baloon must have been in the urethra. The catheter was removed, and a new one was inserted. Now the urine is flowing well and has hardly any blood in it. But blood is still coming out of the opening of the penis (flowing out around the catheter tube), 14 hours later. The worst bleeding was right at the beginning; it's much slower now than 14 hours ago -- but it seems sort of slow and steady; hard to tell if it's slowing down. Currently, I'd guess it's about 1 teaspoon of blood per hour. What can be done to stop the bleeding? How much blood can he lose without serious harm to the rest of the body? But most of all, how to stop the bleeding?

Generally speaking the only treatment that is needed is the presence of the foley. This is similar to the healing process after prostate surgery. The foley maintains the patency of the urethra and applies gentle pressure along the length of the urethra. The damaged lining of the urethra can then heal along the passage defined by the foley catheter. In those people that have larger amounts of bleeding, it may require surgery to coagulate the site of bleeding, but healing usually occurs without needing this intervention.


The amount of blood that can be loss before causing trouble is also dependent upon the level of blood before the incident and whether he has any significant heart or lung disease, but in a person with no pre-existing anemia and no significant heart or lung disease, the human body would need to lose several pints of blood for it to be dangerous.


Dr. D. Love and 6 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

The system still lists this as waiting for expert action. Did you have any further questions?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX that it's been 14 hours since the initial injury (which immediately caused probably about 1 cup of blood loss), and it's down to about 1 teaspoon per hour now and seems pretty steady at that rate, how soon do you think the bleeding might stop completely? Should he stay in bed until it stops, or even after it stops? (Could movement like walking, or accidentally jiggling the foley tube, cause it to start bleeding again? How many days until it's safe to resume normal activity?)

Yes, the bleeding is most likely to stop. Increased activity is not as much of an issue for healing as placing traction on the foley. If the foley is well secured, then he can be as active as he is able. The only other issue relative to activity is whether he is lightheaded. The amount of blood loss that you describe would not usually cause difficulty with lightheadedness, unless he has a pre-existing condition that would make it more likely. If he is lightheaded when he first stands up, then it would be reasonable to be cautious with activity and encourage hydration. If he has no lightheadedness, then he can be normally active.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks again. I hope the Vitamin K will help, too. But at what point would you say he needs to go to the ER? Like, if I don't see the bleeding slowing down or stopping after how many more hours of bleeding at 1 teaspoon per hour?

If the bleeding has not significantly improved over the next few days, you should contact his physician. It may be most efficient to be seen in the office of a Urologist rather than the ER. If he has severe or persistent lightheadedness, then it would be appropriate to be seen in the ER.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you so much, Doc. I tried to accept your answer, but it says "Error accepting answer; please try again." I've done that a few times, with the same technical problem. I'll have to contact technical support later today. But don't worry, I will get it accepted somehow. Thanks again.

Related Medical Questions