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Caring of Urinary Tubes

Caring of Urinary Tubes - What it is

Your child has come home from the hospital with a urinary catheter or tube which drains urine from your child’s bladder to the outside of the body example into a urine bag.

There are some things you need to take note when caring for your child’s catheter at home.

Caring of urinary drainage tubes or catheters - KKH

Types of Tubes

Name of tubePlacementPurpose
1. Nephrostomy tubeInto the kidneyTo drain urine out of the kidney into a collecting bag.
The tube is stitched into place and taped to the skin.
2. Ureteral stentInto one or bothTo drain urine, splint ureters, of the ureters help healing and to prevent blockage from swelling after surgery.
3. Suprapubic tubePlaced through the abdominalTo keep the bladder empty wall directly into the bladder
4. Urethral stent or catheterPlaced through, the urethra into the bladderTo keep the bladder empty

Caring for your child’s catheter

Ensure that your child drinks sufficient water daily. General guideline per day:

  1. 1.2 litres (less than 2 years old)
  2. 1.2 to 1.4 litres (2 to 7 years old)
  3. 1.4 to 1.6 litres (7 to 12 years old)
  4. 1.6 to 1.8 litres (12 years above)

Exception:Patients who are on fluid restriction should follow the doctor’s instructions.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after touching the catheter or urine
  • Check the catheter tubing every two hours for leaks, loops or kinks
  • Keep your child’s catheter taped firmly in place :
    - Replace tape when it has loosened
    - Allow enough slack on tube so that it is not pulled tightly where it enters the skin
  • Always keep the catheter drainage bag lower than the level of your child’s bladder to prevent backflow of urine:
    - Empty the catheter drainage bag at least two to three times each day
    - Clean the spout with alcohol swab before and after the drainage bag is emptied
  • Ensure a closed drainage system to minimize the risk of infection changing of urinary bag only if close system is compromise e.g accidentally bag dislodgment or urine bag murky. Our nurse will demonstrate to you how this is done:
    - Wash your hands well
    - Clean the tubing where it will be disconnected with alcohol swab
    - Be careful not to touch the tubing where it fits together
    - Connect a new bag


  1. In special cases, your child’s catheter may need to be irrigated (rinsed) regularly. This helps the urine to drain freely. Our doctor or nurse will advise you on the instructions for irrigation depending on the type of tube your child.
  2. If urine catheter is due for change at a later date and there has been frequent bag dislodgement seek for early medical advice

Seek immediate medical attention at the Children’s Emergency, Children’s Tower Basement 1, if tube falls out or there are sign and symptoms of Urinary Tract infection such as:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal (stomach) or side pain
  • Change in the colour or smell of urine
  • No urine or decrease in the amount of urine coming from the tube

Caring of Urinary Tubes - Symptoms

Caring of Urinary Tubes - How to prevent?

Caring of Urinary Tubes - Causes and Risk Factors

Caring of Urinary Tubes - Diagnosis

Caring of Urinary Tubes - Treatments

Caring of Urinary Tubes - Preparing for surgery

Caring of Urinary Tubes - Post-surgery care

Caring of Urinary Tubes - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth