What is a Jaques Catheter?
A. This is a urinary catheter which does not remain in the bladder
after catheterization. It is usually made from rubber latex or PVC.
Length is approx. 12”. It has a single eye and is available
in various gauges.
Q. What is a self-retaining catheter?
A. A urinary catheter which can remain in the bladder and is held
in place by a balloon which prevents it falling out. The catheter
provides continuous drainage when attached to one of the numerous
types of drainage bag available. A spigot can be inserted into the
draining end of the catheter and released at regular intervals.
Made from latex, pvc, silicone etc; It is available in various gauges
with balloon sizes 5mls-30mls.
Q. What does FG mean?
A, FG stands for French Gauge and is the most common measurement
used for catheter sizes. Named after the French instrument maker
Charriere who lived in the 19th Century. The system measures the
diameter of the catheter in millimetres. One Charriere (CH or FG)
unit = 1/3mm, so that a 12CH is 4.0mm in diameter. Most catheters
are available in even sizes only eg FG12-FG14 etc.
Q. What is a FOLEY self-retaining catheter?
A. A Foleys catheter is an indwelling flexible tube retained in
the bladder by a balloon for the purpose of continuous drainage.
In its basic form it has two interior channels, one for drainage
and one for the balloon inflation. Another type the Foley-Stewart
has a third channel for bladder irrigation.
A prefilled Bardcomatic catheter is a self retaining Foleys catheter
but the balloon is pre-filled with the correct volume of sterile
water. To inflate this type of catheter the clip on the inflation
channel is released once the catheter is in position and the balloon
inflates. No syringe is required to inflate the pre-filled version.
A syringe is needed to inflate the standard Foley catheter.
Q. Do catheter lengths vary?
A. Yes. The most common lengths are Male – at approx 16”.
Suitable for male and female at approx 14” and Female at approx.
Q .What catheter size should be used?
A.The correct size is the smallest size that is capable of providing
adequate drainage. For initial catheterization FG12 or FG14 would
be a reasonable choice.
Q. What is the urethra and how long is it?
A. The urethra is the canal through which urine passes from the
bladder. In women this is usually 1,5” and in men approx.
Q. How are catheters sterilised?
A. Disposable catheters are now being used in increasing quantities
and these are discarded after use. They are supplied in sterile
packs. The penalty of insufficient sterilization is bladder infection
and such methods as boiling for 5minutes or chemical disinfection
should not be relied upon.
Q. How long could a catheter stay in the bladder?
A. This varies depending on the type. A 100% silicone catheter
could stay in position for up to three months if no problems were
encountered. A latex catheter would be considered a short term catheter
and would last approx. two weeks.
Q. What type of enema equipment should I use?
A. The Higginson syringe is probably the easiest to start with
because of its pump action, but a Fountain Douche or Gravity Feed
enema is quite straightforward to use.
Q. What position should I use if the enema is to be self-administered?
A. Whichever is the most comfortable eg. lying down, standing or
Q. What solutions can I use when administering an enema?
A. Plain water, soap & water, olive oil or glycerine are all
Q. How much enema solution should I use?
A. Normal quantities vary depending on the individual but between
one and two pints is fairly average, although more can be used.
Q. Is the temperature of the enema solution important?
A. Yes. If administered too hot, damage to the lining of the rectum
may occur. If the solution is too cold it will be ineffective. The
ideal temperature is 100 F eg just above blood heat.
Q. Is it necessary to lubricate the apparatus before use?
A. It is advisable to use Surgilube or similar lubricant.
Q. How long is the rectum?
A. The rectum is about 6” in length.
Q. What if I have difficulty inserting the rectal tube?
A. No force should be used. If the anal sphincter is tightly closed
or haemorrhoids are present, it may be necessary to dilate the sphincter
before administering the enema using a finger protected by a rubber
glove and lubricated with Surgilube.
Q. How frequently can enemas be administered?
A. Enemas can be administerd daily if necessary although once or
twice a week should be adequate.
Q. What complications can occur?
A. (1) Faintness and collapse due to the distension of the rectum
(2) An enema rash due to a soap allergy.
(3) Possible perforation of the rectal wall if a rigid nozzle is
The above complications are extremely rare and should not occur
if commensense is used. If at all worried then medical advice should