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Urinary Drainage and Leg Bag Care: What You Need to Know

By Cassandra Tezeno April 13, 2017

If you've recently gotten a urinary catheter, it may take a little while to adjust to going about your daily activities with this new addition. But while your catheter leg bag extension tubing may take some getting used to, it will undoubtedly improve your quality of life. That being said, to reduce the risk of infection, you'll need to care for your leg and drain bags in the correct way. It may be a bit overwhelming at first, but you'll soon make these practices part of your routine. Below, we've outlined some of the basics for catheter leg bag extension tubing, as well as the leg and drain bags themselves.

During the daytime, you'll wear a leg bag, which allows you to move freely. A leg bag is worn under your clothes, so it's very discreet. You'll need to attach your leg bag when you wake up and remove it when you sleep, when you'll change it out for a nighttime drain bag.

To remove or attach your leg bag:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Empty the bag. Keep in mind that the drain spout on your catheter leg bag extension tubing may have a twist-off design or may open to the side. Pinch off the catheter leg bag extension tubing to prevent leakage and disconnect it.
  • Never touch the drain spout tip when you empty it into the toilet or other container, and do not pull on the catheter.
  • Clean the tip of the new drain bag tube with an alcohol pad and place the new bag in your catheter tube. If attaching a leg bag, fasten the straps to your thigh and secure with tape. Make sure there's some extra slack to alleviate unnecessary pressure.
Take note that your leg bag will need to be emptied more often than your drain bag, as it's a smaller size. As a general rule, you'll need to empty your leg bag twice a day, or when it's half-full. You may also want to occasionally change the leg to which your bag is taped. Make sure your tubing isn't too tight or twisted, which can cause blockages.

To clean your drainage bags:
  • After you change out your leg bag for your drainage bag, rinse out the leg bag with a mixture of water and vinegar (usually, one part water to three parts vinegar).
  • Soak for approximately 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water and dry.
  • Repeat when you change your drainage bag out for your leg bag.
You should clean your leg bag every day. It will also need to be replaced when your doctor directs you to. Typically, this will be once or twice a month, but may sometimes be on a weekly basis.

As long as you follow these instructions and do as your doctor directs, you'll ensure safe use for all types of urinary catheters and drain bags. At Get Complete Care, carry the catheters and urinary drain bags you need. For more information, contact us today.

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