An important nursing function in critical care is measurement of urine output. The author describes potential problems associated with the current design of indwelling bladder catheters and encourages the redesign of these catheters to assist in the complete emptying of the bladder.

A frequent task undertaken by critical care nurses is the measurement of urine output. In the intensive care unit (ICU), hourly measurements of urine output are a routine procedure for critically ill patients. The amount of urine formed each hour is often used as an indicator of fluid status and renal function, and a decrease in the volume to less than a critical level is a matter of concern.

The task of measuring urine output is simplified when an indwelling urinary catheter is in place. For critically ill patients, insertion of a urinary catheter is warranted,1 and continued catheterization is justified when monitoring of urinary output is...

You do not currently have access to this content.