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Patient Saf Surg. 2011 Oct 27;5(1):27. doi: 10.1186/1754-9493-5-27.

Preventable long-term complications of suprapubic cystostomy after spinal cord injury: Root cause analysis in a representative case report.

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  • 1Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, Southport and Formby District General Hospital, Town Lane, Southport, PR8 6PN, UK. subramanian.vaidyanathan@nhs.net.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although complications related to suprapubic cystostomies are well documented, there is scarcity of literature on safety issues involved in long-term care of suprapubic cystostomy in spinal cord injury patients.

CASE PRESENTATION:

A 23-year-old female patient with tetraplegia underwent suprapubic cystostomy. During the next decade, this patient developed several catheter-related complications, as listed below: (1) Suprapubic catheter came out requiring reoperation. (2) The suprapubic catheter migrated to urethra through a patulous bladder neck, which led to leakage of urine per urethra. (3) Following change of catheter, the balloon of suprapubic catheter was found to be lying under the skin on two separate occasions. (4) Subsequently, this patient developed persistent, seropurulent discharge from suprapubic cystostomy site as well as from under-surface of pubis. (5) Repeated misplacement of catheter outside the bladder led to chronic leakage of urine along suprapubic tract, which in turn predisposed to inflammation and infection of suprapubic tract, abdominal wall fat, osteomyelitis of pubis, and abscess at the insertion of adductor longus muscle

CONCLUSION:

Suprapubic catheter should be anchored securely to prevent migration of the tip of catheter into urethra and accidental dislodgment of catheter. While changing the suprapubic catheter, correct placement of Foley catheter inside the urinary bladder must be ensured. In case of difficulty, it is advisable to perform exchange of catheter over a guide wire. Ultrasound examination of urinary bladder is useful to check the position of the balloon of Foley catheter.

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