The dangers of traumatic pull out

Medical studies have shown that 11–17 percent of all catheters are unintentionally torn out and 5% of all urological catheters are traumatically pulled. 

Some 25% of all hospitalized patients, as well as people confined to bed in hospice and nursing homes, have urinary catheters. Many of these inpatients tend to extract their catheter tube, thereby causing themselves unnecessary pain, injury and increased risk of damage and infections.

These patients may be pre or post-operative patients, patients who cannot pass urine such as paraplegics, or ones who suffer from incontinence. After the catheter tube is inserted into the urethra and up into the bladder, a balloon is inflated in the bladder to anchor it. If the catheter is pulled out accidentally, or is yanked out by a disoriented patient, while the balloon is inflated- irreversible injury can result.

Genitourinary trauma is quite often the result of an inflated balloon during accidental pulling of the Foley catheter. Any unintentional pulling may cause severe damage to the bladder or urethra.

A catheterized hospital patient averages five ‘catheter days’. Traumatic extraction generally adds 0.5% ‘catheter days’ to a hospital stay.