Catheters (Urological) – How to use them, the different types and safety information
It is time to get down to the basics when it comes to catheters and urological. Here are the basic informations you need to know – whether you are a first-time user or a caretaker for a patient who needs urological assistance.
What are catheters?
A urological catheter is a tube that is inserted into the body to drain and collect urine from the bladder. The actual tube or catheter may vary in size, material and type. There a number of different types but there are three main categories that all catheters fall under: indwelling catheter, condom catheter and intermittent catheter.
Indwelling catheters: A catheter that is left in place within the bladder. These catheters attach to a drainage bag to collect urine. Indwelling catheters also have a small balloon inflated at the end of it to prevent the catheter from sliding out of the body.
Condom catheters: Utilized by men and does not require a tube to be placed inside the body. Instead, a condom-like device is placed over the penis and at the tip there is tube which leads to a drainage bag.
Intermittent catheters: These catheters are designed for short-term use and are usually removed after the flow or urine has stopped.
What are catheters made out of?
They are typically made out of silicone, latex or teflon, however due to allergies most prefer silicone over latex types. The tubes are always made out of soft and flexible material so insertion and removal are easy and painless.
How to avoid an infection when using a catheter
Urinary Tract Infections are very common with catheter and urological supply users, to avoid this discomfort be sure to do the following:
- Wash your hands before and after handling the drainage device.
- Thoroughly cleanse the urethral area
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Place drainage bag below the level of you bladder (prevent urine from flowing back into your bladder from the tubing and bag)
Whether you need catheters for stress incontinence, loss of bladder control or have suffered from a spinal cord injury — be sure to always heed your physician’s advice and test out different types and brands. Don’t be afraid to request for a sample if you aren’t sure what size you might need or you are debating between a couple different brands (like Bard, Kendall, Hollister or Coloplast).
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