Law Office Of Michael G. O’Neill, The Types of Cases We Handle
Medical Malpractice: Improper Placement Of Foley Catheter

Potential client was a patient in a hospital for routine procedure. Claims that he was discharged with foley catheter in place and without care or instructions for follow up. The patient developed severe urinary tract infection that led to septicemia and a lengthy hospitalization.

A foley catheter is a small tube that is inserted into the urethra to drain the bladder. It is used in connection with surgery or in other situations in which the patient would be unable to urinate. Foley catheters present an opportunity for infection, therefore they must be carefully monitored. It could well be malpractice to discharge a patient with a foley catheter in place, without having in place some follow up care or plan for removal. The claim is somewhat implausible, however. The patient is well aware of the catheter -- he can't help but be. Any adult male being discharged from the hospital with a foley catheter in place is going to ask about it. No joke, it's almost as obtrusive as it would be to have a paper bag over one's head with a couple of holes cut out for the eyes. You are going to ask "How long do I have to wear this thing?"

In this case, the medical records did not bear out the potential client's version.

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