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Tom Sharon
Avoiding kidney infection and urinary obstruction


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Kidney catheters

Continuing with drainage tubes, the kidney catheters hang out of the lower left and/or right side of the trunk. These are trickier than bladder catheters because they have no balloons to hold them in. They pose a greater threat because there is the possibility of kidney infection and damage from urinary obstruction if the tube becomes kinked. Thus the doctor has to anchor the kidney catheter to the skin with stitches near the insertion site, and the area must remain clean and as germ-free as possible. These tubes are about as wide as coffee stirrers, and I have too often found them lying in the bed or on the floor. When kidney catheters dislodge, the nurse must regard it as an emergency and immediately notify the urologist. Once again, you as the patient or family member need to be aware of this in case there is no follow-through from the staff. Consequently, if you have a loved one with a kidney tube, check it every time you go for a visit to see if it is still attached. If you discover that it has dislodged, you must ask the nurse the following questions:

. Did you report it to the doctor?
. Did the doctor respond?
. What is the doctor doing about it?
 
Remember that this is a medical emergency. If the urologist is not responding accordingly, you have to start complaining to administration, and you cannot stop until the doctor comes and takes the necessary action.

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