Urinary Retention

Urinary retention is the inability to empty the bladder. With chronic urinary retention, you may be able to urinate, but you have trouble starting a stream or emptying your bladder completely. You may urinate frequently; you may feel an urgent need to urinate but have little success when you get to the toilet; or you may feel you still have to go after you've finished urinating. With acute urinary retention, you can't urinate at all, even though you have a full bladder. Acute urinary retention is a medical emergency requiring prompt action. Chronic urinary retention may not seem life threatening, but it can lead to serious problems and should also receive attention from a health professional.

Male and female urinary tracts.
Anyone can experience urinary retention, but it is most common in men in their fifties and sixties because of prostate enlargement. A woman may experience urinary retention if her bladder sags or moves out of the normal position, a condition called cystocele. The bladder can also sag or be pulled out of position by a sagging of the lower part of the colon, a condition called rectocele. Some people have urinary retention from rectoceles. People of all ages and both sexes can have nerve disease or nerve damage that interferes with bladder function.
Source : http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/UrinaryRetention/ 

NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Urinary retention

Related to:
  1. stasis of urine in the kidney and bladder associated with prolonged horizontal positioning;
  2. difficulty urinating associated with anxiety regarding use of bedpan or urinal;
  3. incomplete bladder emptying associated with:
    • horizontal positioning (the gravity needed for complete bladder emptying is lost)
    • decreased bladder muscle tone resulting from the generalized loss of muscle tone that occurs with prolonged immobility.
Desired Outcome
The client will not experience urinary retention as evidenced by:
  • voiding at normal intervals
  • no reports of bladder fullness and suprapubic discomfort
  • absence of bladder distention and dribbling of urine
  • balanced intake and output.
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