Why won’t the catheter drain?
An elderly male patient presents because his catheter isn’t draining. He has had a urethral catheter for many months. It had stopped draining two days previously and was changed by a district nurse. There were no problems at the time of insertion but immediately following insertion the catheter stopped draining urine and was bypassing.
The catheter was flushed the following day and drained a large amount of thick sediment. It was flushed again following this and seemed to be draining OK.
However, following this the catheter failed to drain any urine and continued bypassing. On the third day the patient presented to the ED. He was well other than his catheter was not draining, his observations were normal and there was nothing significant to find on examination.
Ultrasound showed the bladder to contain only 67ml of urine. What’s going on?
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