Hospital  >  Departments  >  Critical Care Medicine  >  Navigating the ICU  >  What are all those tubes and machines?  >  What is a Foley catheter?
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What is a Foley catheter?

A Foley (or urinary) catheter is a flexible tube inserted into the bladder. It is used to drain urine from the bladder and helps the team keep track of the outflow.

The outflow measurements are often used to help guide therapies and monitor for complications.

Use of a catheter can also improve the patient’s comfort level because it reduces the need to be moved back and forth to the washroom.

Just like many other medical devices, catheters are prone to complications, such as infections and bleeding. For most ICU patients, the benefits usually outweigh the risks. Once a patient is getting better, and will soon to be discharged from the ICU, the use of the Foley catheter is reviewed and removed as soon as possible.

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Location and contact

Critical Care Medicine

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, 
D-wing, 1st floor
room D1 08
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4522
Fax: 416-480-4999

For information about patients admitted to Sunnybrook's Intensive Care Units, please contact the unit through the hospital switchboard at 416-480-6100