Appropriate and Inappropriate Use of Indwelling Urethral Catheterization (IUC)

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
05/11/17  12:17 PM PST
Indwelling Urethral Catheter

What is an Indwelling Urethral Catheter (IUC)?

A urinary catheter is inserted into the urethra and advanced into the bladder allowing for the continuous, passive drainage of urine from the bladder.

What are the indications for IUC?

  • Severe urine retention and obstruction of urine outflow (e.g., prostate enlargement)
  • Comfort measures for patients who are terminally ill
  • Non-healing sacral, buttock, or perineal pressure injuries (stage III or IV)
  • Perioperative use:
    • Prolonged surgery
    • Surgeries on organs of the genitourinary tract
  • Operative patients with urinary incontinence
  • Hemodynamic monitoring during surgery
  • Continuous bladder irrigation for prevention of urethral obstruction from blood clots after genitourinary surgery
  • Measurement of urinary output in critically ill patients
  • Urodynamic testing
  • Imaging studies of the lower urinary tract

Inappropriate Use of IUC:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Incontinence-associated dermatitis
  • Obtaining a urine culture for diagnostic tests when the patient can void
  • Prolonged use after surgery
  • Staff/caregiver convenience

Contraindications for IUC:

  • Undiagnosed hematuria
  • Priaprism
  • Urethral trauma
  • Known/suspected untreated cancer of the bladder

For more information, see related articles and resources here:

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