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Catheter Maintenance (Bladder Wash) - Carers UK Forum

Catheter Maintenance (Bladder Wash)

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.

Does anyone know if there are any medical, legal, ethical, or moral reasons why family shouldn't learn to do these for another family member?
Or is it ok to learn from Community Nurses?

A hospital a&e nurse once suggested I be trained by the district nurse. I never pursued the idea preferring the professionals do it. I suspect there's more to it than there sounds. Possible kidney damage if catheter is really blocked and you force fluid up too hard? Then knowing how to relieve the pressure and put a new catheter in.

Too much potential liability and safeguarding issues?
Thank you Rosemary.
Yes, Nurses suggested myself and my sister learned how to do it & a Dr at the Hospital said (quite glibly I thought) 'you could do it' when I was trying to explain to him how many times we have problems.

I'm not really that keen either because of things like you said, and would definitely prefer professionals to do it. My thinking was that if we could help Mother out when Nurses were too busy or we were having to wait hours for an Out of Hours GP etc, it would be good.

There is, like you rightly say, the issue of a Catheter having to be replaced if necessary - we have had quite a few occasions when the wash went in, but did not come out again, so the catheter has had to be changed anyway.

I just wondered what other people thought.
My husband has a permanent catheter and I have had to get the district nurses out many times to flush it when it has bypassed.

I would not recommend attempting this yourself. As already said, this should only be undertaken by a trained nurse. Don't let them encourage you to try it yourself. It's a nurses job.

I also have had to phoned nhs 24 at weekends or evenings as they have district nurses on a rota who will come to the rescue.
Very fine dividing line when any family carer takes on a qualified nurse's tasks.

Obviously , such practices are meat and drink to many carers ( I was no exception ) , including child carers but ...

.... if things were to go wrong , and with tragic consequences ?

Put another way , would you let an apprentice mechanic work on your " Ferrari ? "

Caring ... by definition is one thing ... social needs ... in practice , a swiss army knife across many fields !
Yes Chris. It's a nurse that does the procedure, not a health care assistant.
My mum has a supra pubic catheter and sometimes has to have what is called here a "flush through" which sounds the same as what you are describing. The district nurses have never suggested I learn to do this.

I find hospitals etc are pushing families to do more and more and a lot of it is stuff we "shouldn't" be doing full stop (had my own thread on hospital battles a while ago)

In your position, I would just say no I am not doing this. It's hard, and they may argue, but please don't take on this additional responsibility. What would happen if something went wrong?

I hope it all works out for you

Thank you to you all for your replies, I appreciate your comments & thoughts.

Needless to say, they have just reinforced my reluctance to doing it because I have the same worries!

Mother is coming home from Hospital either today or tomorrow...we will cross our fingers that the blocking doesn't happen as often as it was doing before she went in.

Best wishes to you all in your caring roles.
Well done Pauline. I also hope when your mums home she doesn't have too many further problems with this.