​No-Touch Catheters Are Good for Your Health

Posted by Reeve Staff in Life After Paralysis on November 09, 2021 # Health

Man in wheelchair on sidewalkIntermittent catheterization (IC) is inserting a urinary catheter in the bladder to drain the urine, removing it once all the urine is drained. IC is performed at regular intervals, several times a day or night. It is considered the ‘gold standard’ for men and women with “neurogenic bladder dysfunction,” which is when the bladder cannot drain urine normally, resulting in urinary retention. This type of bladder dysfunction is caused by impaired nerve or brain function from certain conditions like a spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes. A person with complete urinary retention typically self-catheterizes 4 to 6 times per day to empty the bladder. This is called intermittent self-catheterization or ISC. Some individuals who perform ISC can develop problems or complications. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common complication experienced by individuals performing IC, especially when performing intermittent self-catheterization. A UTI is the most common medical complication reported by individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCIs).

Preventing a UTI is an important part to safe ISC. The choice of the catheter and finding a specific insertion technique or method that avoids contamination of the catheter surface can prevent a UTI. There are several catheter features available that minimize contamination during insertion.

VaPro No Touch Intermittent CatheterCatheters that ensure a “no-touch” technique (also referred to as “touchless” or “touch-free” method) lessen contamination of the catheter from bacteria present on the skin surface of the user’s fingers. It has been studied in laboratory research. The “no-touch” catheterization is unique as it can prevent the bacteria from getting into the bladder when passing the catheter. This may lessen the chance of the person getting a UTI. These types of catheters can be helpful for those with a history of frequent UTIs because of poor technique.

A popular single-use intermittent catheter has a protective sleeve (see Figure 1. VaPro™ No Touch Intermittent Catheter) that covers the entire catheter. As the catheter is inserted, the sleeve slides down the catheter. Since this protective sleeve covers the catheter, direct hand contact with the catheter surface before and during catheter insertion is avoided. The protective sleeve has been shown to prevent transmitting bacteria that may cause a UTI.

There are other parts of the single-use intermittent catheter that can assist the person, such as a ring cap that can be easily removed if the person has a difficult time grasping the catheter. The tip of the catheter is smooth, and the eyelets that drain the urine are smooth, so the catheter is not painful during insertion and removal. A coudé or curved tip catheter is also available for use by men with a large prostate.

Some touch-less catheters not only have a protective sleeve but also have an “introducer tip.” The tip is inserted into the urethra before passing the catheter so as to bypass the beginning section of the urethra. It is thought that the first inch of the urethra has a larger number of bacteria, and an introducer tip protects the catheter from passing through that “dirty” or contaminated part of the urethra. This portion of the distal urethra can have bacteria from the bowel (stool).

There are “no-touch” catheters designed to be more compact, so they can fit easily in a pocket, small purse or bag and are easy for the person to use. No touch intermittent catheters can have a collection bag attached to the drainage end of the catheter as well. It can be very convenient if catheterizing at home or when outside the home. It also is available in a compact package.

VaPro Plus Pocket Catheter with collection bagTalk with your doctor or nurse about what would be the best catheter for you to use. And make sure you are taught the proper technique for doing ISC to prevent UTIs and any other problems.

Hollister Incorporated is a proud sponsor of the Reeve Foundation and is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of quality in continence care products.

To learn more about the Hollister VaPro™ catheter and the VaPro Plus Pocket™ catheter, visit Hollister.com/vapro and request a sample.

This post is purely educational for our community readers. The Reeve Foundation does not endorse this product.

This is an excerpt from an article called “No-Touch Catheters are Good for Your Health” written by Diane Newman, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN. She is an Adjunct Professor of Urology at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Financial Disclosure: Diane Newman received compensation from Hollister Incorporated for her contribution to this article.

DISCLAIMER: Prior to use, be sure to read the instructions For Use for information regarding Intended Use, Contraindications, Warnings, Precautions, and Instructions. Rx Only.


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