Urinary catheters are one thing that nobody likes but at one point in time or the other it becomes a necessity. This is especially true when one is admitted to the hospital for an ailment or is undergoing a surgery.
A post-surgery patient can find even moving (let alone urinating) extremely difficult and painful without a catheter in place. With the help of a catheter, the bladder can be relieved quickly without requiring the patient to flex the pelvic muscleor shift the body weight for relieving themselves.
There are many home care patients who cath several times in a day and there are many urological reasons for a patient to use a catheter. At the same time, is should also be said that catheters bear their own set of risks. One of the most common forms of infections are caused from improper catheters. Apart from infections, the urethral tissue to which the catheter is attached is very sensitive and hence gets irritated very easily. It takes a lot of care and considerations for properly using catheters.
Catheter infections happen mostly because of inappropriate usage. Here an attempt is made to discuss the issues and how to prevent them.
Tips to Prevent Injuries
Injuries with catheterization usually occur because of careless, impatient and incorrect procedures by an individual or a healthcare specialist.
If catheters are not handled in the right way then the urethral skin can easily get hurt and compromised. The urethral tissue can be injured to a point that it can require even a surgery. Here are some tips to avoid those injuries.
- You must use plenty of lubricant on the catheter.
- Be very careful and patient with the usage of catheter. Know the correct procedures and ensure that those procedures are followed.
- At the time of inserting, you must straighten the urethra and push it slowly.
- You should never force a catheter inside or force a balloon for inflation.
- The urine must flow before the balloon inflation (Foley catheters).
- You must seek help if you feel any resistance or see blood when inserting.
Tips to Prevent Infections
Infections caused by catheters are called catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection or CAUTI. Infection can be caused by any kind of catheter. But the body’s natural ability to kill and displace away infections (caused by microbes)is mostly compromised by intermittent internal catheter. Almost all infections can be avoided with good practice when inserting and changing the catheters. Here are some tips that you should follow for avoiding infection.
- Ask a lot of questions about CAUTIs if you are at a hospital. The questions should especially be about how it happens and what steps the hospital takes for hygienic catheterization and avoid infections.
- Try to keep everything clean starting from hands to the tubes and catheters. If you are in the hospital, any caregivers or guests should clean the hands before touching you or the tubes or the catheter.
- Nelaton catheter – buy online or from a reputed pharmacist. But make sure that the pack that you have bought is sealed and is completely sterile.
The above are some of the measures that you should undertake in order to avoid infections and injuries while using catheters.