The instillation into the bladder via a catheter, of sterile water or medication to reduce bladder pain, spasm, infection or bleeding.
Urinary tract, and particularly bladder, infections are frequently suffered by palliative care patients. Some result from the primary illness, others are secondary to the use of catheters, particularly when left in situ.
The purpose of the procedure is to remove debris and mucous from the bladder. Bladder washouts usually need to be performed when a bladder augmentation or neo-bladder has been created. When bowel is used to create the bladder mucous and debris will be produced. An accumulation of mucous in the bladder can lead to an increased amount of infections and kidney stones.
Woodruff R. Palliative Medicine: evidence-based symptomatic and supportive care for patients with advanced cancer. Fourth edition. London. Oxford University Press. 2004. Page 281.