Urine bags are used to collect urine by attaching it to a catheter. You can choose between different styles to suit your needs, such as disposable and reusable.
Catheter leg bags can often be a life-saver for those with urinary incontinence. In general, leg bags allow freedom of movement and provide dignity. They can also be hidden under clothing and promote independence.
However, there is a certain lack of research and information on catheter leg bag use. Many people have problems with managing the leg bag that can effect it's efficiency.
Read about how these common problems can be solved:
- The Leg Bag Has Caused Skin Damage
If you notice skin damage, you may have attached the leg bag straps too tight or too loosely. When the leg bag straps are tightly attached, they can restrict lymphatic flow, which increases the risk of vein and skin problems. Re-evaluate how tightly or loosely you are attaching the bag, and if needed, go to a professional for advice on this. Alternatively, you can switch the leg bag from one leg to the other each day, meaning it will not irritate the same spot all the time. If you have known poor circulation and are using a leg bag, you should go to a Doctor and find an alternative product. You may be able to use a leg bag sleeve rather than straps.
- I Have Unwanted Odour
Unwanted odour is a popular complaint amongst people with a catheter leg bag. To reduce the odour, wash your hands with soap and water. You should also disconnect the bag from the catheter tubing. Next, drain any remaining urine from the disconnected bag. You should then pour some warm soapy water into the bag. Open the drainage valve to drain the soap, and fill the bag with vinegar and water.
- The Leg Bag Flips Over and Kinks the Tubing
This problem can occur if the straps are not attached to the calf or thigh using the provided straps. Ensure they are attached to the correct place and are securely attached. If you have the habit of moving your leg bag during use, try and make a conscious effort not to.
- My Leg Hurts as a Result of the Leg Bag
Muscle pain can often occur as a result of pulling or tugging on the bag. It is also likely that you are wearing the leg bag in the wrong position. Visiting a Nurse can solve this, as they can tell you whether you are wearing the bag the right way. They can also show you how to connect your overnight bag, as this is a common mistake.
I Don’t Know Where to Store my Bag
Store your leg bag in a storing container in the bathroom when it is not in use. This should also include straps and caps. To ensure good hygiene standards, place tissue or a paper towel in the bottom of the container. Ensure you change this sheet daily for cleanliness.
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Common Questions about Catheter Leg Bag Usage
- Which Leg Bag is Suitable for Me?
Where you need to wear your bag determines the required length of your inlet tube. You can use a short tube for use on the thigh, long tube for the lower leg and an adjustable tube for extra length.
- How Often Should You Change the Leg Bag?
It is generally recommended that you should change the catheter bag every 5-7 days. You should bear in mind, however, that if your leg bag becomes disconnected from the catheter, you should buy a new bag immediately.
How Often Should I Empty the Leg Bag?
The emptying frequency is at least twice a day. You need to pay attention to when your leg bag is getting full. Specialists recommend that you empty the bag when it is half-full to prevent any risk of leakage or damage to the bag.
- Can Leg Bags be Worn with a Skirt or Shorts?
Contrary to believe, it is possible to find a bag that can be worn with shorts or a skirt. Even if you are a frequent swimmer, there are different available to you. You can purchase a catheter valve which fits into the end of your catheter. This can be a suitable alternative for many.
- Can I Use a Leg Bag During the Night?
Leg bags are not designed to be used when you are asleep, as urine will not properly drain into the leg bag. You can invest in a catheter night bag, which is designed to hold a normal amount of urine.