A catheter is a device used when someone is found incapable of emptying their bladder voluntarily. In case the bladder doesn’t get emptied after urine formation, pressure will be built up in the kidneys and this pressure can lead to kidney failure. This is capable of permanently damaging the kidneys and is dangerous. Usually, catheters are used till the problem subsides, and hence is a short term device. However, in case of elders facing permanent damage or problems, catheters can also be used for a longer period or even permanently.
In short terms cases, catheter supplies could be used for various purposes. Some of these cases could arise when some obstacle is preventing the person from having the capability to empty their bladder, like bladder stones; when some preparation needs to be done for certain surgeries like hysterectomy; it can also be used to keep a check on the urine output in unconscious patients or after an operation in the recovery stage.
In long term cases, urinary catheter supplies would be used in the removal of urine from a person’s bladder when they lose the ability to control their bladder due to nerve damage. It is also used when the loss of bladder control is not responding to any other forms of treatment. When the condition arises for long term usage of these catheters, a person would be trained to use the catheter themselves in the convenience of their home and the procedure is known as self catheterization.
A catheter is a very useful device in many ways. However, it has its own risk factors. One of the major disadvantages associated with a catheter use is that it allows the entry of bacteria into the body. This can lead to various infections is the bladder, urethra or sometimes even in the kidneys, although rare. The infections belonging to this category are collectively termed as urinary tract infections. This kind of infections are mostly found in hospitalized patients using catheters and accounts for about a third of these infections.