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What are the complications of continuous bladder irrigation?

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Quick Answer

Complications such as catheter blockages from excess sediments or blood clots can occur due to continuous bladder irrigation, reports Education Career Articles. These blockages prevent the elimination of waste products and put additional strain on the recovering patient's body, especially his heart.

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Bladder irrigation is normally done for two reasons, reports Nursing Crib. Irrigation may be used to wash out blood clots within the bladder after surgery, but it can also be used to administer antibiotics to prevent infections within the bladder. Constant vigilance is required when performing continuous bladder irrigation to ensure no complications arise.

Specific procedures, such as prostate procedures in men, require a greater volume of flush to rid the body of clots and elements, according to Education Career Articles. The catheter may need to be drained and irrigated every 20 minutes to every few hours. These patients need constant monitoring. In addition, patients normally have blood in their urine during the initial flush, but a medical doctor must be notified immediately if blood continues to be lost.

Nursing Crib also notes that bladder infections may occur if a nonsterile catheter is inserted into the bladder. Thus, it is recommended that nurses sanitize equipment with chlorhexidine and alcohol solutions before starting irrigation.

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