Continuous Bladder Irrigation

Definition –

Continuous bladder irrigation is a procedure which consist continuous flow or infusion of the sterile solution into the bladder by the specially made catheter, which is also known as triple way catheter.

Triple lumen catheter is specially designed catheter for this type of procedure. As the name suggest, this catheter comes with three lumens. These three lumens serve three different purposes in the procedure of continuous bladder irrigation.

One lumen is for – to drain the urine

Second for – to inflate the catheter balloon

Third lumen for – carry or to provide irrigation solution

Purpose of continuous bladder irrigation –

This type of procedure generally practiced after some special type of genitourinary surgery like in prostatic surgery to avoid formations of blood clots.  The procedure of continuous bladder irrigation helps to prevent blockage of the indwelling catheter by keeping sustained free flow of urine.

Two main purposes

  1. It helps to decrease the blood clots in the urinary bladder.
  2. It allows administration of medication directly within bladder in order to reduce the infection.

Equipment required –

  1. Gloves.
  2. Sodium chloride solution bag.
  3. Continuous bladder irrigation set, urinary drainage bag with anti-reflux valve.
  4. Triple lumen catheter.
  5. Chlorhexidine (0.5%) with alcohol wipes.
  6. IV pole.

Procedure –

  1. Give the general information of procedure to the patient to make him/her more comfortable.
  2. Once the patient gets ready for the procedure, provide him privacy & comfortable position.
  3. Put irrigation solution on IV pole.
  4. Uphold the IV set; it will prevent it from being infected.
  5. Wash hands, put on gloves & be ready to do catheterization of patient with triple lumen catheter.
  6. With the help of Chlorhexidine swabs, complete the catheterization with triple lumen catheter.
  7. After catheterization inflate the catheter balloon for the safety of placement of a catheter.
  8. Then attach an intravenous set to irrigation lumen.
  9. Attach the third lumen to urinary drainage bag but don’t start irrigation until urine flow freely.
  10. Watch for urine volume, haematuria, the colour of urine & note down all observation on nursing chart.

Complications of continuous bladder irrigation –

  1. The patient may go into flushing because it’s a continuous process so he may lose all sodium, potassium. It may cause the patient to feel weak & restless.
  2. If more amount of blood found in the urinary bag immediately call the doctor. More amount of blood can be dangerous & it may lead the patient into shock.
  3. This procedure demand constant monitoring as a small clot may block the urinary set. So it is important to keep watch on the urine flow as well as continuous irrigation. See if the patient is constantly irrigated or not.
  4. Continuous monitoring is always required whether it is related to equipment or related to patient’s conditions.

Image Source – macewan.ca

About the author

Dr. Narendra

Narendra is a practicing doctor from India and has a passion for teaching. He loves to write and help others to understand the subject better with his influencing communication skill.

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