Indwelling urinary catheter use at the end of life: a retrospective audit.

WessexRenal and Urogenital
Published Date: 1 May 2014


This audit aimed to measure: the prevalence of indwelling urinary catheters in patients at the end of life; the use of nursing documentation relating to catheter insertion and care; and prevalence of continence screening on admission. The audit involved a retrospective examination of case notes of patients who died on two oncology wards and a hospice at a large teaching hospital in the south of England. The audit showed that 63% of patients had an indwelling catheter during their admission. Documentation relating to urinary catheter insertion and care was present in 75% of cases, and 75% of patients received continence screening on admission. The findings confirm that indwelling urinary catheters are frequently used as a tool to manage urinary difficulties at the end of life, but that the indications for insertion and continued use can be unclear. Research is needed to establish appropriate use.

Dr Naomi Farrington