10 top tips for looking after your catheter valve:
1. So long as you look after your catheter valve and it remains uncontaminated, it can remain in place for up to 7 days.
2. Unnecessarily disconnecting your catheter valve can introduce infection. You should only disconnect your catheter valve from your catheter when you need to change it.
3. Always wash and dry your hands before and after handling your catheter valve to prevent infection. If someone else is helping you, they must wash and dry their hands and apply a clean pair of gloves on every occasion to prevent cross infection.
4. When emptying or changing your catheter valve, it’s important that you do not touch the end of the catheter or the valve, even after washing and drying your hands, as this increases your chance of introducing infection.
5. Your catheter valve can remain attached when you bathe and shower. However, the weight of the catheter must be supported at all times to prevent tension and pulling within the urethra and the bladder.
6. All catheter valves are supplied sterile and are designed to be connected to the catheter only once and then discarded. Do not attempt to reuse a catheter valve.
7. Any damage to the pouch or packaging can result in the valve not being sterile. Do not use a catheter valve if the packaging has been damaged as this could introduce infection.
8. It’s important that you do not allow your catheter to hang down as this will cause discomfort and may cause trauma to your bladder or urethra.
9. If you’re concerned that your catheter isn’t draining properly or you are in any discomfort, contact your nurse or doctor immediately.
10. Always make sure you have at least one spare catheter valve.