Tap, Tap, Tap To Fill the Urine Bag

Los Angeles

Practical Pointer

Discover Shortcuts Devised by Colleagues 

In a child who appears well but has vomiting without diarrhea, I often order a urinalysis to document urine output and specific gravity and measure glucose, bilirubin, and ketone levels. For the non–toilet trained child, a clean voided bag to obtain the urine specimen is useful. The noninvasiveness of this method is a nice benefit, but you never know how long you will have to wait for the child to urinate. Besides giving the child plenty to drink, one trick that may help fill the bag is suprapubic tapping. This technique, which I learned as a volunteer in a spinal cord injury unit, involves vigorous percussion of the suprapubic region. This can stimulate the bladder to void.  ■