Helpful Urine Collection Bag Pointers

Many people from all walks of life find they must use a urine collection bag at some point.  Sometimes, people need to wear urine bags after surgery, some have difficulty urinating due to medical conditions, and others suffer from incontinence.  Often, a urine bag is the most convenient and the easiest choice to deal with.  Here are some helpful tips for using and maintaining your urine bag or helping someone else to do so.

Always Watch for Problems

One of the most important things anyone wearing a urine bag or anyone caring for someone with a urine bag should know is when to call for medical assistance.  Urine bags are more than just a system for collecting urine.  They are actually connected to your bladder via the catheter tube and catheter, and they can serve as a portal for infection even when care instructions are followed to the letter. 

If the person wearing the urine collection bag has a fever or other signs that an infection might be present, including chills or any burning sensation around the genital region or inside the urinary tract, call a health care provider immediately.  Letting something like this go untreated is not only painful to the person wearing the bag, an untended bladder infection can travel into the kidneys where it will cause even more problems.

You should also seek medical advice if the urine bag seems to be filling more quickly than usual, if a skin rash or sores are present anywhere in the area where the bag or catheter and tube are located, or if there are any problems with the bag itself.

Know When to Change the Bag

Most urine collection bags need to be changed once a month or more often.  If the urine bag starts to smell bad or if it looks dingy or dirty, you should change it, following the steps your health care provider gave you.  Always remember to sanitize tube ends with rubbing alcohol and not to allow those ends to touch anything, including your hands.  If you think this might be a problem, get someone to help you.  You can wear sterile gloves if you want to prevent the potential for contact with urine from the bag.

Keep the Urine Collection Bag Clean

It is very important that your urine collection bag be kept clean and that you follow the sterile procedures your doctor provided you with each time you empty the bag or clean it.  By using care, you will prevent the potential for harmful infections.

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