Measuring urine leakage helps manage incontinence

Now, we know stroke can cause urinary incontinence. This post discusses how it happens. Dealing with the problem is a very complicated subject. Stroke carers require a very good understanding of the nature of the problem. It is necessary because the problem’s nature varies from the person to person affected. Measuring the amount of urine leaked is one critical step in this understanding process.

How important is measuring the amount of urine leaked?

First, it is the first step of your buying guide for body-worn absorbent products. (You can find a simple buying guide in another post). This metric is critical because the absorption capacity varies with the product type. Second, you can use this information in the form of a monitoring chart to evaluate the success of the different methods you are trying in dealing with urinary incontinence. Third, those who faced a stroke are more likely to have impaired judgment and communication ability.

This post promotes weighing whatever the product you are using at the moment; it could either be a short, pant, any other cloth, or an absorbent product. The weighing is being promoted in long-term care settings. Home-based stroke carers too can use it.

Weighing method to measure the urine leakage

Based on the published literature, we can suggest the following steps to implement the weighing method.

  • Find a digital weighing scale
  • Secure either the cloth or the absorbent product into a clean plastic bag before use, weigh, and record it in a chart with the date and time (You can find a simple draft template below)
  • Let the person wear it until either they or you decide change into a fresh one
  • Secure safely into the same plastic bag and weigh again
  • Record the date, time, and the new weight
  • Calculate the difference in grams
  • One gram equals 1ml; accordingly, if the difference is 100g, it equals 100ml.

Measure the urine leakage day and night separately

Why should we estimate the amount of urine leaked day and night separately? It is because our urine production follows a circadian rhythm. In other words, our body produces less urine during nighttime than during the daytime. However, evidence exists that older adults produce more urine during the night time than young adults. This pattern becomes more complicated among those living with a stroke because they are more likely to have an overactive bladder. The nocturia, the urgency to pee more than once at night, is a common problem with an overactive bladder according to the research available.

Maintain a bladder diary

The documentation is critical at least during the first few months because it helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the efforts you are exerting in dealing with the problem. Following is a draft template that you can adapt and modify creatively to suit your need.

Date/dayTime drinks (in ml) and timeweight of the cloth/product used
(e.g.) 8pm – 8am (12 hours)(e.g.) 100ml at 8pm and afterdifference between after and before
(e.g.) 8am – 8pm (12 hours)

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Author: Prasantha De Silva

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