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How to Flush Supra Pubic Catheter in 15 Effortless Steps?

If you or your closed ones use a catheter, you might want to know how to flush supra pubic catheter. Flushing the catheter helps prevent bacteria build-up inside it. Besides, it also prevents the blocking of the catheter pipes.

Suprapubic catheters are used to drain urine from the bladder. They are inserted into the urethra through the urethral opening. The catheter tube has a balloon on the end that is expanded once it is in the bladder to keep it from falling out.

Table of Content

When Do You Need a Cathetar?

You may require a catheter when you have the following complaints:

Urinary incontinence

This can be temporary or permanent. If your condition is temporary, you will probably not need a catheter for long periods. However, if this problem persists longer than two weeks, you should consider placing a catheter permanently.

Urological problems

Problems such as urinary tract infections, stones, prostate enlargement, etc., fall in it. These conditions are usually treated with medication, but sometimes surgery is required. A catheter helps doctors drain urine more effectively during these procedures.

Related: Balanitis Won’t Go Away While Using Catheter. Is It True?

Bladder cancer

Catheters help remove fluid from the body so that tumors don’t grow larger. They also allow doctors to see inside the bladder better. However, bladder cancer can make the issue complicated about how to flush supra pubic catheter.

how to flush supra pubic catheter

Kidney failure

In cases where there isn’t enough functioning tissue left in the kidneys, patients must receive dialysis treatments three times per week using an artificial kidney machine called hemodialysis.

During treatment, blood flows across special membranes in the machine, removing waste products and extra water while replacing them with fresh fluids. Patients who undergo regular hemodialysis often use a catheter because they cannot empty their bladders due to a lack of muscle tone.

Other medical reasons

Some people choose to have a catheter placed just for cosmetic purposes. Others might want one temporarily until they recover after major surgeries like hysterectomies, mastectomies, or other abdominal operations.

Related: Why People Have Back Pain After Myomectomy?

So, now you have the catheter in your system. One of the most crucial parts will be care. You ask your care provider or health professional how to flush suprapubic catheter? This article will provide insights on how to flush the suprapubic catheter.

How to flush supra pubic catheter with normal saline?

Flushing a suprapubic catheter with normal saline is essential to avoid blockage and possible health risks.

How do I get the tube to flush?

1. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.

2. Collect the following materials:

  • Syringe with a capacity of 60 mL and a catheter tip
  • A medical cup that is sterile
  • Sterile saline (the saltwater your doctor gave you)
  • A clean cloth
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Store your drainage bag’s tubing lid in clean, sealed containers.

Reminder: The syringe and medical cup should be sterile or cleaned up and repurposed according to the instructions below. Consult your physician about the following steps to take.

3. Remove the medical cup from its packaging. Fill the cup halfway with saline.

4. Draw saline from the cup with the syringe.

  • For children, prepare 10 mL of saline unless otherwise instructed.
  • For adults, prepare 30 mL of a saline solution unless otherwise directed.

5. Return the syringe to its original packaging to keep it sterile (free from germs). Do not hold the syringe’s nozzle. Please do not allow it to come into contact with any surface.

6. Place a cloth underneath your tube.

7. Wash the point where the tube links to the bag’s ducting for 15 seconds with an alcohol pad.

8. Lightly turn the tube away from the bag’s tubing.

9. Thread the syringe onto the tube.

10. Sanitize the lid with alcohol and put it on the end of the tubing in your bag. This serves to maintain the tubing clean and prevents infection.

11. Press the syringe plunger gently. This fills the tube with saline.

how to flush supra pubic catheter

Don’t force it if it won’t go in. Rather, attempt to remove fluid from the tube. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, take the syringe out. Refill the cup with any remaining saline.
  • Replug the empty syringe into the tube.
  • With one hand, carefully squeeze on the plunger of the syringe. Hold the syringe with the other hand.
  • If you can’t get the fluid (urine) out of the tube, try lying on one side and then the other. If you are still unable to eliminate the fluid, check with your physician.

If you can get fluid out of the tube, unload it into the toilet. Then try again to insert the saline into the tube.

12. After flushing the tube, clean the area where the syringe attaches to the tube with a new alcohol pad (15 seconds of sanitizing). This is one of the essential parts of how to flush supra pubic catheter.

13. Remove the cap from the tubing on your bag and store it in a clean, covered container. Using a new alcohol pad, clean the tubing’s tip. Repeat for 15 seconds.

14. Take the syringe out of the tube.

15. Attach the drainage tube to the drainage bag.

16. Discard any remaining saline in the cup. Make sure the urine is draining into the bag. If there is still no urine after 15 minutes, flush the tube once more.

17. Call your doctor if there is still no urine.

Frequency of how to flush supra pubic catheter (care at home)?

You will be able to drain your bladder more efficiently and avoid infections thanks to the catheter. You must ensure that it is in proper working order. You may need to figure out how to change it. Every four to six weeks, the catheter will need to be changed.

You can find out how to flush supra pubic catheter and change your catheter in a sterile (very clean) manner. It will become easier with practice. The first time you switch it, your doctor will do it for you.

Members of the family, a nurse, and others may be able to assist you in changing your catheter.

You will be given a prescription to go to a medical supply store and purchase special catheters. Sterilized gloves, a catheter pack, syringes, sterile solution to sanitize with, gel such as K-Y Jelly or Surgilube (also don’t use Vaseline), and a drainage bag are required. You may also be given bladder medication.

After changing your catheter, gulp down 8 to 12 glasses of water per day for a few days. In a week or two, avoid physical activity. It’s wise to keep the catheter affixed to your stomach.

Once you have your catheter in position, you will only need to unload your urine bag a few times per day.

How frequently should a catheter be flushed?

Throughout the day, use Normal Saline to irrigate the catheter every 4 hours (do not use tap water). If the urine production has decreased or the Blake or Penrose drain appears to increase output substantially, it is critical to rinse more often.

What is the purpose of flushing the tube?

If the tube becomes clogged, urine will no longer drain into the bag. So, how to flush supra pubic catheter? To detach the plug, you must first rinse the tube with a special saltwater solution (sterile saline).

Removing a Blockage from a Urinary Catheter

The catheter may become obstructed or weak to drain at times and makes you concerned about how to flush supra pubic catheter. You can resolve this by flushing the catheter with saline solution, which moves the particulates blocking the tube.

Types of Urinary Catheter

There are two main types of indwelling urinary catheters:

Foley catheter

Foley’s catheter is an indwelling urinary catheter that drains urine from your body and collects it in a collection bottle or bag for disposal. A Foley catheter can be left in place for up to several days at a time.

The most common use of this type of catheter is when patients undergo surgery to remain hydrated during recovery. However, there are many other uses as well, including:

how to flush supra pubic catheter
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urological procedures such as prostatectomy, cystoscopy, etc.
  • Bladder cancer treatment
  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney stones
  • Trauma

Suprapubic catheter

An adjustable tube is surgically embedded through the stomach wall into the bladder, enabling urine to drain into a pouch outside the body.

Some physicians advise suprapubic catheters for relatively brief use when a catheter is required for gynecologic, renal, or other surgeries. In theory, there are lesser microbes on the stomach wall than on the perineum, resulting in a lower risk of infection.

Another additional benefit is that catheter changes are simpler. Suprapubic catheters can also be fastened to ensure proper voiding. Some patients may prefer a suprapubic catheter to improve their self-image and sexual functioning. Others would prefer more comfort and convenience.

The risks of cellulitis, spillages, hematoma at the injection site, hernias through the urethra, and the psychological barrier of placement through the stomach wall are drawbacks of suprapubic catheters.

This is why we must know how to flush supra pubic catheters to avoid the risks involved.

Suprapubic catheter function

Urine is drained from your bladder using a suprapubic catheter (tube). It is inserted into your bladder via a small hole in your stomach.

You may require a catheter due to urinary incontinence (leakage), urinary retention (inability to urinate), surgery that necessitated the use of a catheter, or another medical condition.


How often should a suprapubic catheter be flushed?

It would help if you changed the catheter every 4 to 6 weeks. Before changing your diaper, always disinfect your hands with water and soap.

Once you’ve gathered your sterile materials, lie down on your back. Wear two pairs of sterile gloves, one on top of the other.

During the day, irrigate the catheter with Normal Saline every four hours (do not use tap water). Suppose the urine output has decreased or the Blake or Penrose drains appear to increase significantly. In that case, it is critical to rinse more frequently to ensure the proper way of how to flush supra pubic catheter.

How do you flush a urinary catheter?

Detach the catheter bag and clamp the catheter. Attach a catheter-tipped syringe (Toomey Syringe) to the catheter tubing (where the catheter bag has been removed) and lightly flush 10mls of normal saline into the catheter. To withdraw saline/urine, pull back on the syringe.

How many ml does it take to flush a suprapubic catheter?

For children, prepare 10 mL of saline unless otherwise instructed. For adults, prepare 30 mL of a saline solution unless otherwise directed.

What to do if the suprapubic catheter is not draining?

This can occur if the lubricating gel has clogged the catheter’s drainage holes. The gel will dissipate in the urine because it is water-based, but it may take a minute or two. Coughing may help to start the flow of urine.

Make sure your catheter is inserted correctly.

If you’re a woman, make sure you haven’t accidentally inserted the catheter into your vagina. If this is the case, detach the catheter and attempt again with a new or clean catheter.

If you repurpose a catheter that has been in the vagina, you risk transferring germs from the vagina into the bladder and becoming ill with a urinary tract infection.

Check that you have inserted the catheter far enough into your urethra if you are a man. Approximately 10 cm of the catheter should be observable.

How do you unblock a catheter at home?

Check to see if the catheter is in your urethra rather than your vagina (women). Check if the catheter is visible for 10 cm (3.9 in) if you are male. After trying to insert the catheter, wait for 2 to 3 minutes for the gel to disintegrate.

Cough to get the urine flowing. Examine the catheter or drainage bag tubing for kinks. Elevate and lower the drainage bag until it is below the level of your bladder. As a last resort, detach the tubing from the catheter.

What to do if the catheter is bypassing?

 Urine is leaking from the catheter. This is known as bypassing, and it occurs when urine cannot flush down the catheter. This will induce it to drip around the catheter’s outside. Examine the catheter and the drainage bag tubing for kinks and remove them.


An SPC is a more convenient option than a regular catheter, allowing you to do your daily activities without unpleasant sensations. If you want to remain confidential, it’s also simple to conceal with clothing or dressing.

An SPC may only be used momentarily after surgery or therapeutic interventions for certain conditions, but in some cases, it may need to be left in place permanently. Visit your physician about how to flush supra pubic catheter and replace your catheter if you need to keep it in for a longer length of time.

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