Clearing A Blocked Catheter

 I've had a catheter installed now for almost two weeks following cystoscopy and removal of a tumor in my bladder. The first few days I was passing a lot of blood and quite a few clots without really any discomfort. I then started having pains that would feel like you really had to urinate and couldn't. The doctor prescribed an anti-spasm medicine Oxybutynin 5mg which did minimize the spasms. I also found that clots would build up and block the catheter flow and when that happens it does get very painful. Seeing how the clots behave when ejected into the toilet I thought I would try using my "tilt table" to see it being upside down would help clear the clots from the catheter. I am pleased to report that after about 10 seconds upside down the catheter cleared and flow started. Once the flow is going, there is usually enough draw that the clots flow right out. I guess the only other option would be to have the doctor remove, clear, and re-install the catheter. Good luck trying to get this done after office hours-you are talking an Emergency room visit!

The tilt table is nice but I suppose you could try just using furniture or whatever to position yourself upside down for a while. 

skidmarks skidmarks
61-65, M
6 Responses Dec 17, 2009

Interesting idea. I'm in a similiar situation. I used a zero gravity chair after flow stopped in the Foley. D.idn't see clots yet but the flow started again (Yeah!)

Great article, thanks for sharing.<br />
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Disabled or very ill people appreciate the help friends and loved ones provide. Getting suitable equipment and medical supplies can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. Friends and relatives can assist persons with urological problems getting things like latex gloves, catheter holders, or other urology supplies. However, a Certified Nursing Assistant might be needed to deliver and set up other kinds of medical equipment and medical supplies such as an hollister apogee intermittent catheter. Before the nurse leaves, find out how to help with cleaning the patient's skin and catheter to ensure that the patient receives quality care at all times. Tom Garrand, Manteca, California

Hi Everyone I have had a supra-pubic catheter inserted about 3 months ago due to my nerve system in the badder giving up - I was told I will have it for the rest of my life - still taking anti spasm pills as I still have a lot of pain - I have had blockages & trust me that's not nice it gets very painful - back in 2007 I was sent for a ultra scan & from there rushed into A&E at the hospital as I was holding 3 litres of urine with no feeling. it's a hard thing to deal with & still no cure.<br />
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As a matter of fact, I did buy a gallon of distilled water and a package of "squirt bottles" like you use for catsup. I planned to use them to "back flow" the catheter to clear it. I didn't ever have to use it although I'm convinced it would have worked. These ideas were all generated while being plumbed and dealing with it. I'll mention to my doctor about the three way Foley catheter for future patients undergoing this procedure. As it turned out, my second procedure went well, and after almost a month of being cathetered, was finally unplumbed ! Other than some urethra irritation, I'm doing good.

The typical method for unclogging a urinary catheter is to irrigate it with body temperature sterile water, using a sterile syringe. I'm surprised that you aren't wearing a 3-way Foley catheter, which has an irrigation lumen connected to a second port at the tip of the catheter for this purpose.

Sounds quite painful and extreamly uncomfortable. I hope you do not have to do this much longer.