A Nurse-Driven Protocol for Foley Catheter Utilization Decreases the Incidence of Traumatic Foley Catheterization

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Ochsner Journal


Background: Traumatic urethral catheterization is a common reason for urologic consultation in hospitalized patients. The purpose of this study was to determine if a protocol designed to decrease Foley catheter use was effective and if implementation of the protocol decreased the incidence of Foley catheter–associated trauma. Methods: In an effort to decrease catheter use, our institution adopted a nurse-driven Foley catheter protocol in May 2015 that allowed nurses to remove Foley catheters that did not meet criteria. We conducted a retrospective medical records review of patients who had Foley catheter–associated trauma occurring between February 2013 and March 2018 and compiled data concerning Foley catheter use. Using t test statistical analysis, we compared rates of Foley catheter use and Foley catheter–associated trauma before and after protocol implementation. Results: During the 62-month study period, we documented 83 cases of Foley catheter–associated trauma. Prior to protocol implementation, our institution had mean of 2,903 patient-catheterization days per month. Following protocol implementation, the mean decreased to 2,604 patient-catheterization days per month (P<0.01). Prior to protocol implementation, the mean incidence of Foley catheter–associated trauma was 1.81 traumas per month. Following protocol implementation, the mean incidence decreased to 0.97 trauma per month (P<0.05). Conclusion: Implementation of the protocol was successful in decreasing Foley catheter use as well as Foley catheter–associated trauma.

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