What does link drainage mean?

When you’re new to life with a catheter, there’s plenty of new terminology to get used to. You might either read or hear people talking about link drainage.

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What is link drainage?

Link drainage is a term used to describe a catheter drainage system which is set up when one drainage devices is attached to another, creating a link. For example, connecting a leg bag to a 2L bag for overnight drainage, or connecting a 2L bag to a catheter valve. The 2L bag is connected to the outlet tubing of the leg bag or valve. Once the leg bag or valve tap is opened, urine is able to drain through the leg bag or valve and collects in the 2L bag. This allows for larger capacity drainage for overnight.

In the morning, the leg bag or valve tap can be closed off and the 2L bag disconnected from the outlet tubing. Any urine which has collected in the 2L bag overnight can then be emptied down the toilet, and the bag disposed of. Once disconnected, a 2L bag should never be washed out and reconnected. This is bad practice and increases the risk of a nasty infection developing.


Single-use vs continuous drainage 2L bags

It’s important to understand the difference between these two options!

- Single-use bags are designed to be used on one occasion and then disposed of. These are available in both sterile and non-sterile options. Your healthcare professional will be able to advise which option is most appropriate for you.

- Continuous drainage bags are always sterile-pouch packaged and these are designed to connect directly to the catheter itself. A continuous drainage bag can stay in place attached to the catheter for up to 7 days. When the bag is full, simply open the tap to drain the bag, close the tap off and allow it to start filling again.


Support for your link drainage connection

When using a link drainage connection, you need to be able to support the weight of your filling 2L bag overnight. This also helps to reduce any strain placed on your link drainage connection. Take a look at our range of drainage bag support options, including drainage bag stands, and drainage bag hangers.