The use of Tiemann tip catheters for male intermittent self-catheterisation

Male catheterisation can be difficult to perform, especially in patients with an enlarged prostate gland or other potentially obstructive conditions in the lower urinary tract. Repeated and unsuccessful catheterisations, as well as causing trauma, pain and distress, can cause other conditions such as urethral strictures and 'false passages' (when the catheter is pushed through the urethral wall instead of passing down the urethra), which then require more costly interventions to correct. With an increasingly ageing population these complications are expected to rise, putting added strain on an already stretched health service. This article discusses the use of the Coudé (or Tiemann) tip catheter in patients presenting with these challenging catheterisations and, in particular, male patients performing intermittent self-catheterisation. Device design can help overcome obstructive difficulties, making catheterisation easier, less traumatic and more comfortable for the patient. A survey of 200 nurses working in the urology and continence field was undertaken to understand their awareness and usage of Coudé/Tiemann tip catheters in practice. It was found that many nurses and doctors were unaware of this type of catheter and its advantages and therefore did not use or offer it as an alternative to the more commonly used straight-tipped catheter. In the vast majority of cases when Tiemann tip catheters were used this occurred after failure with a straight-tipped catheter, or they were used with patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia or other potentially obstructive conditions. In many cases, the catheterisation was consultant initiated, despite the fact that intermittent self-catheterisation is instigated and taught mainly by nurses. This survey highlighted the need for better education for nurses and doctors in assessing the alternative catheter tips available to ensure successful catheterisation on first attempt.

British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing). 2018 May 10 [Epub]

Maggie Rew, Helen Lake, Kayleigh Brownlee-Moore

Nurse Advisor, B.Braun Medical Ltd., Clinical Nurse Specialist Urology/Stoma, B.Braun Medical Ltd, Honorary Nurse Specialist, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust., Clinical Nurse Specialist, B.Braun Medical Ltd, Honorary Nurse Specialist, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.