The purposes of this descriptive survey were to (1) find out if the incidence of bladder infection could be reduced by decreasing the number of postoperative catheterizations, (2) find out what the incidence of current methods of postoperative bladder evacuation were, (3) find out if and what changes had occurred in the incidence of the methods of bladder evacuation since the publication of previous studies, and (4) discover the current relationships of the methods of bladder evacuation to various factors such as age, sex, marital status, admission status, type of operation, and type and length of anesthesia.

Need for the study was supported by three factors, (1) the concern of nurses in the two selected hospitals regarding an apparently high occurrence of postoperative catheterizations, (2) an increasing body of literature condemning the catheter as a frequent source of urinary infection, and (3) a twelve-year time lapse since the last study found.

A review of hospital patient records was conducted for those patients who had surgery between October 1, 1961, and December 31, 1961, in two selected hospitals. The patients eligible for the study were limited by age, operation and type of anesthetic.

The data collected were analyzed to discover the incidence of voluntary voiding, intermittent catheterization and retention catheterization. The relationship of method of bladder evacuation to various factors was also analyzed.

Voluntary voiding was found to occur in 61.6 percent of the patients. Intermittent catheterization occurred among 12.4 percent of the cases and 26 percent were subjected to retention catheterization postoperatively.

The highest incidence of voluntary voiding occurred in patients having head-neck, integumentary and diagnostic surgeries. The event of intermittent catheterization occurred most frequently following neurological and rectal surgery in both hospitals. The greatest number of patients with retention catheters and a common surgery were found in the gynecological classification.

A relationship was also found to exist between the method of voiding and the age, sex, marital status, admission status, type and length of surgery.

From the data collected it was concluded that the results differed only slightly from previous investigations, the incidence of intermittent catheterization being 0.7 percent lower in this study.

On the basis of the average time of catheterization and average amount of urine obtained it was also concluded that intermittent catheterization was frequently performed when unnecessary.

Repetition of the study in other hospitals was recommended for the purpose of validation. The presence of symptoms of bladder distention was recommended as a basis for the ordering of intermittent catheterization. It was recommended that an in-service education program for the nurses in both hospitals be developed to review the causes, prevention and treatment of postoperative urinary retention. Stress on the importance of complete and accurate charting of information regarding postoperative bladder evacuation was also recommended for consideration in an in-service education program.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Maxine Atteberry

Second Advisor

Charlotte Ross

Third Advisor

Gertrude Haussler

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Bladder; Urinary Catheterization; Postoperative Care



Page Count

viii; 63

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives