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Replace leg bag after UTI?

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  • Replace leg bag after UTI?

    I use the Urocare latex reusable leg bags. They have an anti re-flux valve that only allows urine into the bag and not back out of it. I usually keep these for about 6 months and clean them everyday with warm water and isopropyl alcohol. Given this info is there a need to replace these after a UTI? If so, why? They are around $40 and being that urine can only go in and not out, it doesn't seem to me there would be an issue continue using the bags...

  • #2
    i use 10% bleach solution ..i dont think the alcohol does anything. i replace mine weekly holisters

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    • #3
      Originally posted by air ohs View Post
      i use 10% bleach solution ..i dont think the alcohol does anything. i replace mine weekly holisters
      I didn't think you are supposed to use bleach with a latex bag...

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      • #4
        Are you using an indwelling catheter or an external condom catheter (ECC)? If using an indwelling catheter, it is recommended to change the catheter and drainage bags when a UTI occurs; in fact it is best to do these BEFORE submitting your urine specimen for C&S analysis. This is the only time it is OK to take a specimen for C&S from the drainage bag as well.

        The anti-reflux valve on your drainage bag is there to prevent urine from back-flowing from the bag to the bladder. While these are tested, and required by the FDA for bags designed to be used with indwelling catheters, they may malfunction, especially after long term use. There is really no reason to have to use a bag with an anti-reflux valve if you have an ECC, and many people do remove this in bags that have a removable one (like Urocare latex leg bags).

        It is recommended currently that if you have an indwelling catheter that you maintain a closed system, so not removing the bag for cleaning is best. If using an ECC, the bag can be cleaned with 10% bleach solution (shown to be the most effective disinfectant for this purpose in several studies). Keep in mind though that latex bags may be deteriorated by the bleach solution.

        Vinyl bags should last at least a month, even with bleach cleaning, but we still recommend changing them monthly as they may leak if used longer than this.

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
          Are you using an indwelling catheter or an external condom catheter (ECC)? If using an indwelling catheter, it is recommended to change the catheter and drainage bags when a UTI occurs; in fact it is best to do these BEFORE submitting your urine specimen for C&S analysis. This is the only time it is OK to take a specimen for C&S from the drainage bag as well.

          The anti-reflux valve on your drainage bag is there to prevent urine from back-flowing from the bag to the bladder. While these are tested, and required by the FDA for bags designed to be used with indwelling catheters, they may malfunction, especially after long term use. There is really no reason to have to use a bag with an anti-reflux valve if you have an ECC, and many people do remove this in bags that have a removable one (like Urocare latex leg bags).

          It is recommended currently that if you have an indwelling catheter that you maintain a closed system, so not removing the bag for cleaning is best. If using an ECC, the bag can be cleaned with 10% bleach solution (shown to be the most effective disinfectant for this purpose in several studies). Keep in mind though that latex bags may be deteriorated by the bleach solution.

          Vinyl bags should last at least a month, even with bleach cleaning, but we still recommend changing them monthly as they may leak if used longer than this.

          (KLD)
          I had an SP tube put in two weeks ago. I had a c&s done a week after that due to UTI symptoms and it showed an infection. I didn't take the specimen from the leg bag, the nurse told me to pinch off the SP tube for about 5 min and get the specimen straight from that. I was started on generic Levaquin for 7 days (today being the last day). You say it is best to maintain a closed system, but at night I switch to a different bag (mainly so I can clean the leg bag). So if I am switching anyway, should I not go ahead and clean the leg bag while I'm not using it at night? You also mention how long vinyl bags last and when they should be changed but what about latex bags, since that's what I'm using? I have read others that use isopropyl alcohol for latex, is this not good enough to clean it?

          I am using latex bags because the smell doesn't come through like it does with vinyl bags I've used. I was also under the assumption they lasted a lot longer (I've seen many people say they use them for 6+ months), therefore would be less money and hassle having to buy/swap them out so often. Or are these pro/cons not accurate?

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          • #6
            Random thoughts:
            > you should not remove the reflux valve even w/condom cath! The valve prevents pressure in the bag from traveling back to the catheter, and when the bag is pretty full, anything pressing against it will express that pressure to the catheter which has a problem staying adhered under the best circumstances.
            And I know from experience that the reflux valve acts like a Chinese handcuff to urine. Any number of times I have found my big latex bag inflated like a soccer ball in my lower pants leg. No way bladder pressure did that; I believe that with every jounce of the chair, (I'm pretty active and usually very active when these overfills happen) the stretch latex bag stretches from all the weight and creates a vacuum at the valve allowing more urine in until it's getting highly spherical!
            Also, the flange of the "little red valve" seals the screw connection into the bag; if removed it will leak like a sieve!

            > I have been disinfecting these latex bags with 20% bleach solutions every 4-5 days with them disconnected and the catheter plugged whenever I shower.
            Until they start covering them monthly, I often used one bag for almost a year. They never seem to really wear out and you can replace the little red valve seperately

            > I wear my bag 24/7 except when I take a shower. The large bags last overnight.

            > When I need a specimen, I usually attach a very small/new bag until there's a useable specimen quantity. I wonder if that's a problem but I only get one cath & kit & bag per month.
            69yo male T12 complete since 1995
            NW NJ

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