Were you aware that urinary catheters have been used for over 3,500 years? These devices, which assist the bladder to drain urine, have been further developed since those times.
If you have recently had surgery, then you may have had a foley catheter, or indwelling catheter, placement. These are used 15%-to-25% of the time during hospitalizations prior to and during surgery, as well as for other types of medical situations requiring a hospital stay.
Both men and women may experience some type of bladder or kidney issue that will require the use of a catheter to assist with expressing urine. Men over 60, for example, may experience some level of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In some cases, they may have issues with blockage, which will require the use of a catheter.
Urinary incontinence tends to increase with age. For individuals between 65-to-69 years, it increases 14%. For individuals 85 or older, it may increase 45%. Urinary catheters, pads, and other devices may be used to address this situation.
In addition to draining the bladder, catheters may also be used to administer medication. If you have panful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis, for example, there are two ways to treat this condition. One is through taking oral medication, and the other is through a catheter that administers the medication into the bladder.
Since you want to remain active and improve your quality of life, having the right medical equipment to care for your bladder or kidney issues can make a major difference. It’s also important to take proper care of this equipment to avoid infections.
The most common type of infections are catheter-associated urinary tract infections. In acute care hospitals, these account for 30% of healthcare-associated infections. Nearly all of these are caused by inserting catheters.
If you have a leg bag, for example, it’s necessary to clean it on a daily basis to avoid bacterial growth and other issues. Your doctor will advise you when to replace your leg bag. In general, however, this will be once a week or twice a month.
It’s also important to empty your leg bag when it reaches the half-full mark. While this will usually be a minimum of two times a day, be sure to check it on a regular basis to avoid issues related to overflow.
At bedtime, you will want to exchange your leg bag for your drainage bag. Before going to sleep, it is recommended that you follow these instructions for cleaning the leg bag:
- Rinse the bag with one part vinegar and three parts water.
- Allow the bag to soak for 20 minutes.
- Rinse out the bag with warm water.
- Hang the bag up to dry.
Depending on the type of bladder, kidney, or urinary tract issue experienced, there are different types of medical supplies with which you may be familiar. Consider these and other urological supplies that are available at a medical supply store:
- Anti-reflux valve flap system
- Catheter leg bag extension tubing
- Catheter plugs and caps
- Catheterization tray
- External male urinary catheter
- Intermittent catheters
- Urinary drain bags
If you have any questions or concerns about a catheterization tray or any other urological devices, you can discuss these with your doctor or other medical professional. You may also ask your medical supply professional information about a catheterization tray.