Long-term nephrostomies luer-lock v urostomy

Long-Term Nephrostomies

5 reasons to choose a closed system drainage bag instead of a urostomy bag.

The type of drainage bag used in conjunction with a Nephrostomy catheter is often an afterthought, or a case of whatever is on the shelf. However, the type of drainage bag used could have significant impact on patient outcomes. Here are our top 5 reasons why to choose a closed system, luer-lock drainage bag in conjunction with a nephrostomy catheter for long-term nephrostomies:

1. Skin protection. Urostomy bags are secured directly to the skin. There can be a number of adverse incidents relating to this including skin irritation, reaction to adhesive, potential for drainage to be in contact with skin resulting in maceration or excoriation. A luer-lock system allows the bag to be secured away from the skin, protecting the skin integrity.

2. Infection. With a urostomy bag, the potential for the drained fluid to contact the skin could lead to wound infection. A closed system carries the drainage away from the exit site and reduces the chance of skin infection & tracking down the exit site.

3. Ease of care. Urostomy bags may sometimes get missed at DN visits as they are in a less visible location. The luer-lock connection is also easier to manage at bag changes than removing the urostomy bags adhered to the skin. Having a drainage bag away from the exit site makes checking the wound and amount of externalised catheter easier for nurses.

4. Reliability. A urostomy bag attached to the skin is prone to leakage. The amount of time the seal stays intact can vary and may be affected by sweat, skin oil, body hair, physical activity, bathing, etc. A luer-lock system is reliable & is less likely to leak providing patient ease of mind.

5. Patient comfort. Closed system leg or hip drainage bags are often more comfortable for the patient than having the bag of urine attached directly to the back. Closed system leg bags may also be more discreet, hidden in trousers or at the waistband and more convenient for draining.

Drainage accessories for long-term nephrostomies:

We offer a range of drainage bags and dressings suitable for use with long-term nephrostomies. Find out more about our range of drainage accessories here.


Treatments and side effects of urostomy –

Martin R, Baker H (2019) Nursing care and management of patients with a nephrostomy. Nursing Times [online]; 115: 11, 40-43.