Urine Bag Types Explained
If you suffer from urinary incontinence or another ailment that prevents you from using a restroom, you may need a supply of urine bags to help you maintain an acceptable quality of life. The basic urine bag model allows you to function normally while collecting urine throughout the day, but the specifics of how this works varies between the bag types. Here you will find a detailed explanation of what urine bags are, how the different bag types differ, and how you can select the urine bag that is right for you.
Portable Urine Bags
A portable urine bag allows for the largest amount of mobility throughout a day and gives an individual the most personal freedom. Also known as leg bags, these urine bags typically go underneath your clothing and attach to your leg. Urine passes through a catheter into the portable urine bag, and you can feel when you need to drain the bag based on its weight against your skin. A portable urine bag should always be placed below your bladder for efficient drainage. While these bags are made of durable plastic, there is a slight chance of breakage, so be sure to pay attention if you see any signs of leaking or if something sharp hits the area where your bag is strapped.
In typical cases, you can expect to change this type of urine bag once or twice a month. Obviously, you might change it sooner if the bag fills up quickly or if it takes any damage. You should also change your bag if it starts to look dirty or smell bad. When you drain your urine bag, make sure to do so in a clean bathroom. Keep the bag from touching any bathrooms surfaces, such as a toilet or floor, as that can lead to a buildup of bacteria and possible infection. After you have drained your urine bag, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water. If the bag did touch a bathroom surface, you should also clean it with rubbing alcohol.
Pediatric Urine Bags
A pediatric urine bag functions similarly to a portable urine bag, with the notable exception that it is applied to an infant or young child. Urine collection from a child might be a necessity due to an infection, the need for a medical test, or an illness that causes urinary incontinence. Regardless of the cause, the urine bag is designed to capture urine passing from the child while making sure that feces does not get into the sample to contaminate it. Applying a pediatric urine bag for the first time can be both stressful and difficult. Because of this, parents usually get instructions from doctors or pediatric nurses the first time through. After that, though, it may be necessary to change the urine bag at home or elsewhere.
The biggest challenge with properly using a pediatric urine bag is the fact that everything is so small on a baby. This makes precision very important, as failing to create a proper seal can allow contaminants into a sample. Moreover, children are not likely to sit still for the placement of the urine bag. Despite these difficulties, the procedure remains fairly straightforward. You should make sure that the skin is clean and dry before applying it, then begin the application of the urine bag at the small area of skin between the genitals and the anus. If you have difficulty, it may help to have a second adult who can keep the child calm during the process.
Individuals whose incontinence strikes mainly at night or who have limited mobility often use bedside urine bags. These bags have a design and function that resembles portable urine bags, but they are much less likely to break or tear due to everyday use. Typically, urine bags rest below the individual’s bladder while they lie in bed. They may be placed on a stand, or they may simply lie on a low shelf or table. Even if you live alone and have no pets, you should avoid placing a bedside bag on the floor, as the risk of accidental rupture increases dramatically. Because they are not designed for mobility and thus don’t need to have as much tear resistance, bedside bags often cost slightly less than portable bags.
Note that bedside bags don’t have to be used exclusively by people who cannot get out of bed. Many people who have other types of urine bags may also opt for a bedside bag during the night. This prevents accidental rupture from tossing and turning while still ensuring a restful night of sleep without fear of leakage. In addition to those with mobility concerns, a bedside bag fills an important role for adults with incontinence problems that cannot easily be solved by adult diapers. The changing and cleaning of bedside bags follows the same guidelines as portable bags, including the importance of sterility. However, many who rely on bedside bags for long-term use also depend on nurses or other healthcare professionals to handle the changing and cleaning process.
Things to Look for in Urine Bags
The two biggest things that you should look for when shopping for urine bags are durability and cleanliness. The bag needs to be able to take incidental jostles and bumps without rupturing, and should be made of materials with antibacterial process to avoid infection. The first time you select a urine bag, you will probably have the advantage of advice from your doctor or nurse to help guide you. If you find that you are unsatisfied with your initial choice, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider again. That professional might be able to guide you to a better fit based on your preference. Using a urine bag can be challenging at first, but the more you use it, the more you will get used to it.
When used properly, urine bags can help you make the most out of an uncomfortable medical situations. The guidelines above should give you a better knowledge of the different bags and what you need to consider when buying one.