A brief history of urinary catheters

The word “catheter” comes from Greek, meaning “to let or send down.” Catheters were used as early as 3,000 B.C. to relieve painful urinary retention. In those times, many materials were used to form a hollow catheter shape, including straw, rolled up palm leaves, hollow tops of onions, as well as, gold, silver, copper, brass, and lead.

Library Resources
Evidence based monographs by experts to define and guide clinical practice
Medicare Changes Reimbursement Policy to End Re-use of Intermittent Catheters.  This change allows for up to 6 catheter changes a day in hopes to stop re-use of FDA labeled "single-use" catheters. The old policy made individuals sterilize and clean their catheters any way they knew how which lets a very high-risk opportunity to have the individual get infected with catheter-associated bacteria to arise.  No longer will catheter users suffer from severely painful UTIs.
Intermittent catheterization (IC) can be indicated as treatment for voiding problems due to disturbances or injuries to the nervous system, non-neurogenic bladder dysfunction, or intravesical obstruction with incomplete bladder emptying.

Intermittent catheterization should be performed in the presence of a residual urine volume and symptoms or complications arising from this residual volume of urine.  
Intermittent catheterization (IC) is the insertion and removal of a catheter several times a day to empty the bladder. This type of catheterization is used to drain urine from a bladder that is not emptying adequately or from a surgically created channel that connects the bladder with the abdominal surface (such as Mitrofanoff continent urinary diversion). Intermittent catheterization is widely advocated as an effective bladder management strategy for patients with incomplete bladder emptying due to idiopathic or neurogenic detrusor (bladder) dysfunction (NDO).
Intermittent catheterization (IC) is the preferred procedure for people with incomplete bladder emptying not satisfactorily managed by other methods. Complications and adverse events can arise in both men and women but are seen especially in male patients performing intermittent self-catheterization long-term. Urethral/scrotal events can include bleeding, urethritis, stricture, the creation of a false passage, and epididymitis. Bladder-related events can cause UTIs, bleeding, and stones. The most frequent complication of IC is urinary tract infection (UTI).
Patients may be concerned about the discomfort associated with intermittent catheterization, the need to maintain privacy, the fear of performing the catheterization, and the inability to find a clean and appropriate toilet when traveling outside their home. Clinicians need to consider these patient concerns in their teaching and recommend possible strategies.
The number of catheter types and designs has increased with the advancement of new technology. This has added complexity to the catheterization process for both the nurse and the patient. Catheter types are now gender specific, acknowledging the anatomical differences in urethral length between men and women. Standard male catheter length is 16” (~40cm), whereas female catheters range in length from 6-12”.  Pediatric lengths are 6-10”.  Many women find that shorter catheters do not shift and are easier to grasp and insert.
Conference Coverage
Recent data from conferences worldwide
Presented by Christine Liaw, MD
Philadelphia, PA (UroToday.com) Urinary retention and incomplete bladder emptying after transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and laser failures are caused by persistent urethral obstruction and/or detrusor underactivity (DU).
Presented by Nikki McCormick, RN
Philadelphia, PA (UroToday.com) Nikki McCormick, RN, Managing Director of Wellspect HealthCare, provided perspective on common indications of intermittent catheterization (IC), its’ possible barriers and burdens, various types of catheters and complications associated with a catheter used. According to McCormick, urinary retention is one of the primary conditions managed by IC.
Presented by Mary A. Wasner, RN, BSN, CURN
Philadelphia, PA (UroToday.com) Hollister Incorporated product expert, Mary A. Wasner, RN, has presented an assessment of catheter features that can potentially improve intermittent catheterization and reduce risks of infection.
Presented by Karen Spriggs, RN
Philadelphia, PA (UroToday.com)  Karen Spriggs, RN, Coloplast Clinical Consultant, offered a summary of male external catheters (MEC), its application, removal, and helpful tips. MEC is known as Urisheath, condom catheter, or Texas catheter.
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