6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Catheters

A majority of people are likely to be faced with having to use a catheter. Catheter use may be necessary during a hospitalization. However, it may also be necessary for a longer term when an individual is not in the hospital. A person facing the prospect of a catheter likely has a number of important questions.

When is a Catheter Needed?

Many people have a fundamental question about a catheter. Specifically, they want to know when a catheter real is necessary.
A catheter is needed when a bladder cannot hold an appropriate amount of urine. In addition, a catheter is needed when a person cannot empty his or her bladder completely.

Does a Catheter Increase the Risk for Urinary Tract Infection?

The insertion of any foreign object into a person’s body presents the possibility for an enhanced risk of infection. Of all infections acquired in a hospital, 75% are associated with a urinary catheter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This specifically refers to a catheter that includes a tube that is inserted into the bladder via the urethra to drain urine.
Upwards to 25 percent of hospital patients end up catheterized. The most significant indicator that infection may occur is prolonged placement of a catheter in a patient.

What Can a Long-Term Catheter User Do to Lessen Risk of Infection?

There are some strategies that a long-term catheter user can undertake to reduce the risk of infection. The most important step is to make sure a user thoroughly cleans hands before touching a catheter.
Another step to take to lessen the risk of infection is making sure the urine bag is kept below the level of the bladder. Finally, the risk of infection can be reduced if the catheter tubing is not pulled or tugged upon.

Is a Catheter Painful?

The design of the particular catheter being used dictates the level of discomfort associated with it. Many individuals adjust to the presence of the catheter itself. However, when a catheter requires the insertion of a tube through the urethra into the bladder, the insertion and removal process can induce at least some degree of discomfort.

How is the Drainage Bag Emptied?

A person outfitted with a more long-term catheter faces the need to empty the drainage bag. The process of emptying the drainage bag begins with thoroughly washing the hands. Once that is accomplished, the cap at the top of the drainage bag is opened and the contends are poured into the toilet.
Once the contents are emptied, the bag needs to be cleaned. A household detergent can be used for this purpose. When this step is complete, hands must be washed again.

Can a Catheter Damage the Bladder or Urethra?

If used properly, a catheter will not damage with the bladder or the urethra.

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