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Improper Catheter Use in Illinois Nursing Home Patients Can Cause Injury and Infection 

 Posted on January 28, 2022 in Nursing Home Abuse

Cook County Nursing Home Injury LawyerWhen nursing home residents cannot urinate on their own, often due to mobility or medical issues, catheters may be used. A urinary, or foley, catheter is a small, thin tube made of soft and flexible material that is inserted into the bladder via the urethra to collect a patient’s urine. While catheters can be very useful, they are not without risks. 

Unfortunately, nursing home staff will sometimes improperly administer catheters. Whether due to understaffing, undertrained staff, or unnoticed catheter-related complications, catheters can quickly place a patient at serious risk of infection and in need of further treatment. If you believe your loved one has been injured by a catheter due to nursing home abuse or neglect, an experienced Illinois nursing home injury attorney may be able to help. 

Safe Catheter Use is Essential

While the idea of a catheter might be uncomfortable to think about, it is essential for families of nursing home patients to understand how appropriate catheter use looks and functions. That way, if something is wrong, family and other loved ones may be able to identify symptoms of catheter complications. Nursing home staff are expected to use the following procedures: 

  • Washing hands before and after handling a catheter

  • Ensuring urine collection containers are supported so they never pull on the catheter

  • Regularly checking for symptoms of inflammation or infection 

  • Observing a patient’s urine color and clarity 

  • Cleaning around the catheter site

  • Regularly replacing the urine collection bag 

Catheter-Related Injuries 

When staff fail to follow these procedures, such as when catheter tubes are left in the urinary tract for months at a time, serious infection and permanent damage to urinary tract tissue may occur. Common catheter-related injuries include: 

  • Injuries from improper insertion 

  • Bladder stones

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Blood in the urine

Nursing home residents are vulnerable to complications resulting from any of these injuries. Urinary tract infections can be difficult to treat and can even develop into a life-threatening condition called urosepsis. Urosepsis causes the body to attack its own organs and tissues in response to infection. It is a medical emergency that can be lethal if not treated immediately. 

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Catheter Injuries Lawyer

If your loved one’s nursing home fails to provide adequate catheter maintenance, the consequences may be serious and even deadly. Call an experienced Chicago, IL nursing home catheter injuries attorney with Schwartz Injury Law to learn more about whether you may be able to pursue compensation for your loved one’s suffering after a catheter-related incident. Contact our conveniently located downtown Chicago office at 312-535-4625



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