The importance of the intermittent catheterization aimed at solving clinical problems related to mechanical or functional disorders of the bladder is irrefutable. At the same time, the intermittent catheterization might be a key factor for reducing deterioration of the upper urinary tract and urosepsis in patients suffering from spinal cord conditions.
Learn how intermittent catheterization can help improve quality of life and significantly reduce the risk of complications and the development of urinary tract infections that can be life-threatening with development.
The importance of intermittent catheterization for the resolution of clinical problems associated with mechanical and functional bladder emptying is indisputable. At the same time, it is a technique that reduces the risk of life-threatening upper urinary tract deterioration and urosepsis in patients with spinal cord problems.
The type of patients using intermittent catheterization varies from those suffering from spinal cord injury and disease, to those suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia. Pure intermittent catheterization (CEC) was introduced in the 1970s as a replacement for rigorous aseptic technique. Such an attitude has provided a different approach to the problems associated with continence and dysuria, and in clinical practice it has been shown to be an exceptional technique for minimizing urinary complications in patients.
A lower frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs) is the key to success of the clean intermittent catheterization. A series of short-term studies have demonstrated good clinical results and the primary user satisfaction with this new procedure. CIC relieves and improves dilatation of the renal channel network as well as the status of the upper urinary tract. However, since a possibility of a long-term and even a lifelong need for catheterization is present, results of long-term studies are especially important. Not only are such studies important so as to prove the importance of a regular catheterization, but they are also needed as a tool to assess all issues related to possible complications as a consequence of a long-term catheterization. So far, the main problems that have been detected as possible side-effects of a long-term catheterization include clinical symptoms like complications, bladder injuries and infections.
Since catheterization is very important, we strongly advise you to constantly expand your knowledge about this technique and follow the newest trends. Please consult your medical doctor and choose procedures and urinary catheters that suit you the most accordingly. Such an approach is recommended as a prevention of complications and other consequences of a long-term usage of the clean intermittent catheterization.
the patient’s bladder.
Frequently asked questions
The clean intermittent catheterization is the gold standard for draining the bladder of patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunctions. When we use phthalate-free PVC hydrophilic catheters this procedure is safe and efficient and it is beneficial for kidneys and the upper urinary tract. Apart from these clinical benefits, it also improves the quality of patient’s life enabling a higher degree of independence and self-confidence that arises from the possibility of self-catheterization.
The catheterization is a procedure of draining the bladder through a tube (catheter) inserted in the patient’s bladder.
There are two types of catheterization: indwelling and intermittent
- The indwelling catheterization is a procedure of inserting the catheter for a longer period of time (up to several weeks). The indwelling catheterization can be done through the urethra or through the stomach lining (so-called suprapubic catheterization).
- The intermittent catheterization is a procedure of inserting the catheter for every individual bladder draining.
There are several classifications of catheters. We will mention a few of them:
1. Classification according to the type of catheterization: indwelling and intermittent
2.Classification according to the use: standard and hydrophilic
3. Classification according to the material: PVC and latex
The Foley catheter and the suprapubic catheter are classes of the indwelling catheter:
1. The indwelling Foley catheter
The Foley catheter is a flexible tube which a clinician passes through the urethra and into the bladder to drain urine. The tube has two separated channels or lumens running down its length. One lumen, open at both ends, drains urine into a collection bag. The other has a valve on the outside end and connects to a balloon at the inside tip. The balloon is inflated with sterile water when it lies inside the bladder to stop it from slipping out.
2. The suprapubic catheters
A suprapubic catheter is inserted into the bladder through a cut in the tummy. Since this is an invasive procedure, it is done rarely.
Intermittent catheters are either standard or hydrophilic:
1. Standard catheters
When inserting a standard catheter a lubricant should be used in order to decrease inertia as a result of a procedure.
2. Hydrophilic catheters
Hydrophilic catheters are lubricated. The lubricant transforms into a smooth hydrophilic coating 30 seconds after being in contact with water. A layer of polymer coating characterize these type of catheters. This coating absorbs and retains the water. Consequently, the coating turns into a smooth and slippery surface that remains intact when in contact with the urethra. It secures a complete lubrication. Hydrophilic catheters are designed in order to decrease the rate of complications relating to catheterization and to ease the whole process.
Nowadays, latex or PVC are used in the production of catheters:
Latex is a material used in production of medical equipment since 1888. Apart from its proven qualities, its use is marked by a high rate of allergic reactions. Scientist started tackling this problem in the late 80s, after a few cases of anaphylactic shocks (heavy allergic reactions) during surgical procedures. Due to these severe reactions, especially where children are concerned, PVC started replacing latex.
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is an important member of the polymer family. Without added “softeners” it would be very rigid and fragile and almost completely useless. However, with added “softeners” it is flexible and elastic. One of these “softeners” is DEHP (dietyl hexyl phthalate), a member of the phthalate family and is the most commonly used additive where the PVC is concerned.
Phthalates are esters of the phthalic acid and aliphatic alcohols. These volatile liquids are usually added to polymers for flexibility and elasticity. They are also known as plasticizers or softeners. This means that they are a part of everything that surrounds us. Recent studies provide evidence that phthalates are harmful – where both humans and the environment are concerned.
Phthalates are hormone disruptors compromising hormonal balance. Consequently, they are the reason why males develop more feminine features.
part from that, we know that they are cancerogenic – they cause breast and prostate cancers. Phthalates cause various malformation in the tissue of testicles and compromise male fertility.