Curious about some of the things to know about catheters? Here’s our breakdown of the top 5!
1. Intermittent catheters are not all the same.
Just as no individual person is exactly the same, intermittent catheters are different too. They come in varying lengths, diameters (known as French sizes), lubrication options, travel catheter sizes, and more. Check out the various catheter types to see which one might best fit your preferences and needs.
2. Catheters come in a range of lengths and sizes.
Catheters are measured by the external diameter of the catheter tube, and this is commonly called a “French size.” You can tell the French size of a catheter by the color of its funnel end.
Your prescribing health practitioner will work with you to determine the best French size for your anatomy. If you have problems with the size, such as having difficulty with insertion or taking too long for urine to drain, you can give your doctor a call to discuss adjusting the size.
As one of the largest catheter suppliers in the nation, we likely have the size you need!
3. There are ways to reduce the risk of UTIs.
You may be able to minimize your risk of contracting Urinary Tract Infections by using catheters sterilely, which means using each intermittent urinary catheter once and then disposing of it.
You can also make sure to wash your hands thoroughly prior to catheterization, wear sterile gloves, and touch the catheter tube itself as little as possible when using regular straight catheters.
Options such as hydrophilic, pre-lubricated or closed system catheters can minimize the risk because they do not require manual lubrication and are “touchless” for the most part. Many catheters can also be provided with insertion supplies, such as gloves, disinfectant wipes, and more.
For more detailed information on how to reduce UTIs, please see our article at https://www.180medical.com/Reduce-UTIs.
4. Intermittent catheters should be used only one time.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the United States) regulates all intermittent catheters as single-use devices and do not approve these to be washed and reused.
Catheters often have unique features such as crevices, angles, and porous surfaces that create barriers for cleaning and are capable of quick bacterial growth, even after professional cleanings in independent studies. Using catheters more than once can increase the risk of UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections).
For more information, see our article about the risks of reusing catheters.
5. Many insurance plans cover catheters.
Think you’re stuck paying out of pocket for your catheters? Most major insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover enough intermittent catheters for sterile use.
See our handy insurance guide here.You can also give us a call, and we’ll verify your insurance policy, then let you know your plan’s current coverage for intermittent catheters and related urological supplies.