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Quads who use leg bags, please help...

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    Quads who use leg bags, please help...

    I've just started using a leg bag and have a few questions:

    1) Is there anyway to make it easier to disconect the bag tubing from my foley so I can switch to a night bag at night... I have decent hand function but thats a tight connection.
    2) Whats the easiest way, or any tips, for cleaning the bags? How often should I change them?
    3) How do you stop the twisty drain part fro openng at night due to turning etc.?
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

    I've been using a leg bag for over a year now, and there are a few "tricks of the trade". As far as separating the tube connector, I find that a combination of twisting and wiggling the connector seems to work best. Practice makes perfect - you'll get better at it pretty quickly. I use a latex leg bag from Urocare. It has a valve that prevents backflow and has a positive drain valve that is much easier to open and close than the ones on the vinyl bags. It's expensive (about $40), but it lasts a long time. The vinyl bags would spring a leak after just a few weeks of use but the latex bag is still going strong after a year. To clean it, we first run soapy water through it, then vinegar, and then clear water. I have the 800 cc size, and that only needs draining once or twice during the day while still being small enough to conceal under clothes. I always switch to a 2 liter night bag for sleeping and clip the hose onto my shirt so it doesn't pull at night.
    "Some complain that there are thorns among the roses, but I am delighted to find an occasional rose among the thorns."



      Foleys require more stringent care than other types of devices in order to reduce the possibility of infection. I couldn't immediately find KLD's post on the subject but I'll post info from a good site below. I disagree with them
      about using vinegar for cleaning, however. A solution of water and bleach s better.

      And drinking lots of water while using a foley is a must. At least it's more convenient!

      Check out this link for a holder that also might be helpful for you...

      A foley catheter is a soft plastic or rubber tube that is inserted into the bladder to drain the urine. Urinary catheters are sometimes recommended as way to manage urinary incontinence and urinary retention in both men and women. There are several different types of catheters which may be used for a variety of different reasons.

      Urinary catheters may be used to drain the bladder.  This is often a last resort because of the possible complications associated with continuous catheter usage. Complications of catheter use may include: urinary tract and/or kidney infections, blood infections (septicemia), urethral injury, skin breakdown, bladder stones, and blood in the urine (hematuria). After many years of catheter use, bladder cancer may also develop.

      Catheters come in a large variety of sizes (12 Fr., 14 Fr.,... 30 Fr.), materials (latex, silicone, Teflon) and types (foley catheter, straight catheter, coude tip catheter). It is recommended that you use the smallest size of catheter, if possible. Commonly, a size 14 Fr. or size 16 Fr. catheter is used. Some people may require larger catheters to control leakage of urine around the catheter or if the urine is thick and bloody or contains large amounts of sediment. Be aware that larger catheters are more likely to cause damage to the urethra. Some people have developed allergies or sensitivity to latex after long term latex catheter use; these people should use the silicone or Teflon catheters.

      A catheter that is left in place for a period of time may be attached to a drainage bag to collect the urine. There are two types of drainage bags. One type is a leg bag, which is a smaller drainage device that attaches by elastic bands to the leg. A leg bag is usually worn during the day since it fits discreetly under pants or skirts, and is easily emptied into the toilet. The other type of drainage bag is a larger drainage device (down drain) that may be used during the night. This device is usually hung on the bed or placed on the floor.

      Most experts advise against routine changing (replacing) of the catheters.  If the catheter is clogged (obstructed), painful, or infected it may require  immediate replacement. Routine care of the indwelling catheter MUST include daily cleansing of the urethral area (where the catheter exits the body) and the catheter itself with soap and water. The area should also be thoroughly cleansed after all bowel movements to prevent infection. Experts no longer recommend using antimicrobial ointments around the catheter as they have not been shown to actually reduce infections.

      You should increase your fluid intake, unless you have a medical condition prohibiting large amounts of fluid intake, to reduce the risk of developing complications.  You should discuss this issue with your health care provider.
      The drainage bag must always stay lower than the bladder to prevent a back flow of urine back up into the bladder. The drainage device should be emptied at least every eight hours, or when the device is full. Care must be taken to keep the outlet valve from becoming infected. Wash your hands before and after handling the drainage device. Do not allow the outlet valve to touch anything.  If the outlet becomes obviously dirty, it should be cleaned with soap and water.

      Some experts recommend cleaning the drainage bag periodically. Remove the drainage bag from the catheter (attach the catheter to a second drainage device during the cleansing). Cleanse and de-deodorize the drainage bag by filling the bag with 2 parts vinegar and 3 parts water. Chlorine bleach can be substituted for the vinegar and water mixture. Let this solution soak for 20 minutes. Hang the bag with the outlet valve open to drain and dry the bag.

      Some people have occasional leakage of urine around the catheter. This may be caused by a catheter that is too small, improper balloon size, or bladder spasms. If bladder spasms occur, you should check to see that the catheter is draining properly. If there is no urine in the drainage bag, the catheter may be obstructed by blood or thick sediment, or kinking of the catheter or drainage tubing. If you have been instructed on irrigation (flushing the catheter) procedure, try to irrigate the catheter and see if this helps. If you have not been instructed on irrigation and urine is not flowing into your collection device, you should contact your health care provider immediately.  Other causes of urine leakage around the catheter include constipation or impacted stool, or urinary tract infections.

      Notify your health care provider if you develop any of the following:

      * the urine has a strong smell or becomes thick and/or cloudy.
      * fever, chills
      * urethral swelling around the catheter
      * bleeding into or around the catheter
      * catheter draining little or no urine despite adequate fluid intake
      * leakage of large amounts of urine around the catheter.

      ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
      ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~


        My SO uses a leg bag during the day only, and I just put a piece of tape over the twist valve so it doesn't work its way open.....there's nothing like a shoe full of pee to ruin a day, as we've learned the hard way. He doesn't have enough hand strength to open it, so dexterity in getting the tape on and off isn't an issue for us.


          leg bags

          Urocare makes a good selection and for the "twist type" plug just remove it after you order extensions and a flip clamp. That makes it much easier to empty. The top of the bag has a tapered tip with small to large tiers which holds tight especially if you tape it to your leg. They are easy for me to unplug and I probably have less dexterity than you. Most med. supply stores sell Urocare. Just wash out once in awhile with mild clorox solution.WR



            i use roughly 50/50 water/vinegar solution, which stays in the bag overnite. rinsed twice with water am & pm, via this red rubber funnel which makes things way easier. i keep the cleansing solution in a 10 litre camping jug thing with a spout. but even my PCAs have some trouble with it, as its started to leak over time. could find a better model, i guess. another option is this special soap called Urolux (harhar), made for this purpose, but i've never bothered. runs about 12 bux a bottle round here.

            i think the type of connector will definitely make a difference in terms of 'user-friendliness'. i've seen 3 types, none of which i can imagine tangling with by myself... what type are you using?

            ~Velcro holds my life together~
            ~Velcro holds my life together~



              For emptying the bag, the flip flop leg bags r better as u don't have to twist the valve.. just flip it down.. empty.. push it back up and guala.

              ...and the soul afraid of dyin'... That never learns to live...
              Thoughts become things, choose the good ones!


                Avoid a leaking bag

                To stop a shoe full of urine, I use a bulldog clip below the outlet tap as a backup.
                Hasn't failed me in 10 years.

                So there we were, Two against ten thousand.
                **** we killed those two!!


                  prevent leaks in leg bags, night bags

                  Leaks can be such a drag!! To prevent them, I use the Hollister Pleated VInyl Leg Bag ( It has a lever type thing for emptying, and much more difficult to have unintented leaks. For me, it's worked better, although Bard are ok, I've just had some problems...

                  Night bags...definitely tape if you can. Actually, I tape with the leg bag too. It seems in the beginning of the month they hold together better. This has helped prevent separation when moving around at night.

                  Re: odor. I was told to put a regular asprin in the leg or night bag to help prevent odor (along with regular cleaning). I have a weird way to put the cleaning solution in...mix it in an empty (and sterilized with bleach solution regularly) condiment type plastic bottle (like for catsup). Clean ends with alcohol swab. Probably not the best way, but it works for us...


                    To disconnect my leg bag I bought a vise from a model shop and mounted it to a plastic cutting board. I was getting pee on me and this solved that problem. I change my bag every two weeks and clean with vinegar every night. I also use a holistar bag and it has a flip drain valve. I'm a C-7 Q and have had no problems.

                    Keep it shiny side up!
                    Keep it shiny side up!



                      hold down tubing with one palm place other palm on catheter at the connection. press down on and in the direction to disconect as you roll catheter under your palm. does not require any grip. may take a few tries but once you catch on is very simple & quick,


                        Alternative to the leg bag

                        There is a better solution out there than the leg bag. For those that have use of their hands can now exchange the leg bag for the "tru-flo urinary catheter valve". This little device fits on the end of the Foley catheter and that's all you need, no bag no long tubing. When you have to urinate just pull up to the toilet, slide open the valve and relieve your self. Google www tru-flo catheter valve and read all about it. Using this simple device gave me back my life and dignity.

                        Last edited by Gordon Atkinson; 6 Nov 2010, 6:43 AM.


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                            Urocare warns not to use vinegar, bleach or toilet bowl cleaner in their long term use latex leg bag (these have a brownish color to them). The sell (I know, it is expensive and no wonder they don't recommend other cleaners, but I used the long term use latex leg bags for 10 years and have my own test results that proves to me that bleach and vinegar shorten the life of a very expensive leg bag). Their cleanser (Urolux, item number 700216) is a mild formulation of phosphoric acid. It does dissolve crystal build up. Another cleaner that I like is Holister m9. It does a good job in the latex leg bags, but is milder.

                            I do use bleach to clean the Urocare 2000cc plastic night drain bottle and tubing.

                            I use 1000cc vinyl day leg bags now. I don't clean them daily, just connect to the night drain bottle at night through the empty tube that I clamp during the day. I use the vinyl leg bags for two weeks then change to a new one, but if I think I need a cleaning during that time, I rinse with 10% bleach solution or rubbing alcohol. I am on a Supra Pubic catheter.

                            All the best,