Assessment and Management of Acute Urinary Retention

Author: Andrew Parfitt, Peter Jaye / Editor: Andrew Parfitt, Peter Jaye / Reviewer: Jason Kendall, Amanda King / Codes: / Published: 13/07/2022

This session covers the common presentations of urinary retention and its management in the emergency department. It also covers the common problems that can occur in patients who have in-dwelling catheters.

Learning objectives

  • Diagnose urinary retention
  • Explain why a full clinical and rectal examination should always be conducted
  • Describe investigations that are necessary in a patient with retention and how to evaluate them
  • Identify the complications of urethral catheterisation and be able to respond to them whilst awaiting specialist urological input
  • Summarise the evidence base relevant to the further management of a patient in acute urinary retention


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