No matter what type of bag you need after drainage procedures, there are several steps for cleaning a catheter drainage bag. Let’s explore the different types of medical drainage bags, their uses, and the proper steps for cleaning them.
Medical drainage bags are designed and used for efficient fluid collection during a variety of drainage procedures. They work by collecting infected fluids using a drainage tube or catheter. One end of the catheter is inserted into the area of the body where fluid removal is needed, and the other is connected to the bag outside the body. Drainage bags are manufactured using transparent material so physicians can observe and monitor fluid levels seamlessly and efficiently.
There are different types of medical drainage bags designed and manufactured for specific patient needs and intended uses:
- Hanging bags: Large drainage bags to store high volumes of fluid for immobile or bedridden patients
- Leg-mounted bags: Small bags attached to the leg using Velcro or elastic straps to collect fluid during day-to-day movement
- Stomach bags: Used for storing nephrostomy or biliary drainage for patients who prefer not to use a leg-mounted bag
Below are some common procedures where medical drainage bags are used:
Biliary drainage removes bile from the liver caused by a blocked or narrowed bile duct. A few types of biliary drainage catheters remove bile from the liver, such as external and internal-external. External catheters are inserted through the skin and into the bile duct above the blockage to remove the bile from the liver. Internal-external catheters are inserted through the skin and into the bile duct across the blockage to remove bile.
Abscess drainage removes infected fluid from areas of the body such as the abdomen and pelvis. Abscesses can be caused by a recent surgery or an infection like appendicitis.
Nephrostomy drainage removes urine from the kidney due to a urinary system blockage. Nephrostomy procedures work by inserting a thin, flexible catheter into the kidney. The urine drains through the catheter and into the bag outside the body.
Bag decanters transfer sterile fluids from flexible IV containers in four easy steps.
Reusable medical drainage bags should be emptied and cleaned each time they’re filled.
Below are general steps for patients on how to clean a catheter drainage bag after common drainage procedures:
Before emptying a catheter drainage bag, wash your hands with soap and water to avoid infecting the catheter and bag. If the short drainage tube is in a bag pocket, remove it and hold the tube over the toilet or a measuring container if applicable. Open the valve, avoid the tip, and slowly pour the fluid from the bag into the toilet or container. After the bag is empty, wash your hands again.
Clean the tip of the drainage valve with an alcohol wipe and close it. If the medical drainage bag has a pocket for the drainage tube, reinsert it.
Wash your hands again before cleaning the skin around your catheter. Most areas can be cleaned efficiently with soap and water.
Ensure the tubing is free of kinks, cracks, and clogs. If there’s any blockage preventing the fluid from draining through the tube, change it using the instructions given by your healthcare provider. If the current tubing is still in good condition, wash it with soap and water. Wash the tubing in the direction away from your body and avoid pulling on it. Once you’re done, dry the catheter tube with a clean washcloth or paper towel.
Before cleaning your catheter drainage bag, have a clean backup bag handy. Wash your hands again and disconnect the bag from the catheter tubing. Connect the tubing to the backup bag.
Drain any remaining fluid from the disconnected bag and close the drainage valve. Then, pour warm, soapy water into the medical drainage bag, ensuring the corners are submerged. Next, open the drainage valve to remove the soap and close the valve.
After that, use the solution recommended by your doctor to finish cleaning the bag. Common solutions are a vinegar solution that includes two parts vinegar and three parts water or one tablespoon of chlorine bleach mixed with 1/2 cup of water. Once the solution is inside the bag, shake it gently and let it sit for 30 minutes. Finally, drain the solution and rinse the bag with cold tap water before hanging it to drain and air-dry.
Cleaning a catheter drainage bag for reuse is a daunting, time-consuming process for patients. And if something unexpected happens during the process, healthcare providers must act accordingly and give the patient the urgent care they need.
At Remington Medical, we provide top hospitals and medical centers in the U.S. with a variety of disposable medical products like our medical drainage bags for fluid drainage, including abscess, biliary, and nephrostomy. Our 600ml drainage bags are hygienic, user-friendly, and the perfect alternative to reusable bags. Equipped with a fully adjustable, soft waist belt and graduated markers to measure fluid output accurately, Remington’s disposable drainage bags make procedure recovery a smooth process for the patient and physician. Contact us to learn more about how you can help patients take the hassle out of cleaning catheter drainage bags.
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