Bill has been helping patients transition to life using urinary catheters with limited hand dexterity for almost ten years. Speaking from experience,
Bill knows what our patients are going through. He was injured in a motocross accident over 22 years ago. He discusses catheter options for those with limited hand dexterity.
"Depending on your insurance coverage, you might be eligible
for a more advanced catheter. These catheters are usually hydrophilic, which
means they do not require lubrication. They have a special coating that is
activated when introduced to water. Most of these catheters have water packets,
which you must break open and let the catheter saturate in the water for
about 30 seconds to activate the coating. The catheter becomes very slippery,
which can make them more difficult to hold onto for some patients. Some of
these catheters have sleeves around them to make it easier to grasp. These
catheters are better than the regular catheter with lubrication. The catheter
stays lubricated while in the urethra, which reduces trauma, pain, and
irritation to the urethra.
180 Medical carries many different brands of hydrophilic
closed system catheters
. The company, MTG
, offers a closed system catheter that
is specifically designed for people with limited hand dexterity. I prefer a
closed system catheter because it is the most convenient catheter, especially
when you are away from home in foreign surroundings. I use the hydrophilic
closed system catheter called the MMG H2O. I use this catheter because it goes
in easier for me due to a slight
stricture I have.
A lot of people that have dexterity issues have a hard time
popping the water pocket. I can pop it by placing it in between my two
palms and pushing them together and squeezing it. Some people prefer to lay it
on the table and hit it. I have to use what is called the cheater method.
Basically, I get the catheter out first and use it like you would a regular
catheter. This defeats the purpose of the introducer tip, but I must use a
hydrophilic catheter due to a stricture.
As I mentioned earlier, I am able to hold the catheter between my
forefinger on one hand and the thumb on my other hand. This gives me a really
good grip on the catheter. There is also a device called a quadriplegic
catheter inserter which is designed specifically for quadriplegics. It is a spring loaded clamp that fits around
the catheter to aid those who cannot grasp the catheter.”
If you're interested in trying different brands of hydrophilic catheters
and closed-system catheters, have one of our catheter specialists
make sure your insurance covers A4353 catheters.
Another one of the best catheters for someone with very
limited hand dexterity, whether male or female, is the MTG EZ-Gripper. The latex-free
MTG EZ-Gripper is a self-contained, pre-lubricated, closed system catheter.
From start to finish, the user will not need the fine motor skills of hands or
fingers to cath. The packaging is fitted with finger holes for easy opening,
and easy filling and draining.
MTG E-Z Advancer catheter, with patented EZ-Advancer valve
system enhances ease of use. Equipped with soft silicone and an introducer tip
to reduce risk of infection, it comes with insertion supplies and bag.
Another popular catheter for limited hand dexterity is the
Coloplast Self-Cath Closed System Kit. 100% Silicone, latex-free unisex
catheter system designed to reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections
and reduce trauma to the urethra. It features an Easy-off tear tab, which makes
it easier to use even for those with limited hand dexterity. Includes insertion
Catheter Insurance Coverage
Some insurance companies do not cover closed-system or
hydrophilic catheters, and some will cover them, with additional documentation
from your doctor. If you are unable to obtain closed-system or hydrophilic
catheters, Bill has some insight on how to catheterize with a regular straight
catheter and lubricant.
“The biggest issue with using straights and lubricant, with
limited hand dexterity, is opening the lubricant packet. The easiest way is to
use a tube of lubricant. The problem with this is if interested in trying a
more advanced catheter, Medicare guidelines require the one-time use of one
packet with every catheter. Using a tube is not considered sterile according to
Medicare guidelines. Also, I use antibacterial
wipes called Big Ones to wipe off the tip of my urethra as well as my hands
before handling the catheter.
There is no easy way to open the lubrication packets. The
only ways I have found is to rip them open with your teeth or to use a pair of
scissors. We do offer one brand of lubricant that comes in a paper packet which
makes it a little easier to open.
I am available to discuss these issues, as that is part of
my job here. So if you do have any
questions regarding catheterizing, please do not hesitate to give me a
Also see Learning to Self Catheterization with Limited Hand Dexterity
About the Authors:
Bill has worked for 180 Medical
for almost ten years in various positions within the company. He works at the180 Medical corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, OK. He often speaks to customers about adjusting to life after a spinal cord injury. Read more about Bill here
Trish Eklund has worked for 180 Medical
for almost three
years, as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska, with her husband and daughters.
She is a feature writer for www.bigblendedfamily.com