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Foley Catheter (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Call the doctor if the patient experiences the following symptoms:

  • Any pink or red urine or bleeding from the urethra
  • Symptoms do not go away
  • Symptoms of infection
    • Burning sensation upon urination
    • Urgency and frequency
    • Increased lower abdominal pain
    • Fever
    • Foul-smelling discharge coming from the urethra or in the genital area
    • Redness or swelling in the genital area
    • Pain in the urethral area or genital area

If the patient is sent home with a Foley catheter and a leg bag, he or she may develop urinary retention (inability to urinate). The catheter should not be left in place for long periods of time because this can lead to urinary tract infections, narrowing of the urethra, bladder stones, recurring bladder spasm, and abscesses along the urethra.

  • If the patient is sent home with a Foley catheter or has had a catheterization performed, he or she should go to the hospital's emergency department if they notice the any of the following:
    • Bleeding from the urethra
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Symptoms of infection such as urinary frequency, urgency, or pain or burning sensation; blood in the urine; fever; increased lower abdominal pain; or foul-smelling discharge
    • Symptoms of acute urinary retention such as urinary hesitancy, straining to void, decrease in size and force of the urinary stream, interruption of urinary stream, sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder
    • Irritative symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, pain or burning; increased urination at night; or wetting the bed at night
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