Measure and Record Urinary Drainage Bag

Care Plan: Empty the resident’s urinary drainage bag into a graduate container, measuring the amount of urine in cc’s/ml’s and recording that measurement on an Intake and Output (I&O) form that will be provided, using the appropriate time, type of output and amount of output. The role of the resident may be played by a person or mannequin.


Click on each question below to view the answer…

Why is it so important that the port not touch anything when being emptied?

The catheter and drainage bag make up a closed system, which means that pathogens cannot enter this system unless it is opened.  Since you are opening the system to empty the urine, you are providing a portal of entry for pathogens.  Bacteria that enter the drainage bag through the port will multiply as they climb the inside of the catheter, where they will ultimately emerge into the bladder in great numbers.  The bladder is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria (warm, dark, moist, endless food supply) and since the number of bacteria is so high, it is difficult to treat these infections.

Do I have to clean the port with alcohol before putting the port back into the sleeve?

Yes.  You do not want to store a dirty port in the sleeve as this will contaminate the sleeve and allow the bacteria to multiply and enter the bag next time the port is opened for emptying.  Cleaning this area with an alcohol pad before storing the port in the sleeve can help prevent future infections.

Why does the graduate container need to be on a flat surface for measuring?

This provides an accurate measurement.  Many conditions require healthcare workers to track the fluid coming into and going out of a patient on a daily basis.  This recording must be accurate because it will influence medications, treatments and other interventions.

Can’t I just measure the urine in the bag with the markings on the bag itself?

No.  These are used as a rough guide, but should NEVER be used as a true measurement of fluid output.  The urine should be collected in a graduate container and measured on a flat surface at eye level.

When should I record the reading?

The measurement will be recorded on the documentation sheet that the evaluator gives you.  It will be recorded in cc’s and you must specify what type of output it was (urine).  After completing the skill, performing your closing and washing your hands, you will document the reading.   You should document after you have washed your hands to keep from contaminating the pen or documentation form with urine.

Does the measurement have to be in cc’s? Can’t I measure in ounces?

In medicine, all measurements are recorded in cc’s, which is much more precise than ounces.  One ounce is 30 cc’s.  The measuring container (graduate container) will have cc’s on one side and ounces on the other.  Make sure you are measuring the urine using the side marked cc’s.