If your child has a condition that requires the use of intermittent catheters to drain their bladder, you may be wondering if they’re using the right catheter for their individual needs. As a parent or guardian, your child’s health, well-being, and comfort are likely some of your top priorities. So if they experience difficulty with cathing on their own, whether due to frequent urinary tract infections, concerns about privacy when self-cathing at school, or if they have limited mobility or dexterity, you might want to seek out a different option that could work better for their needs.
Indicators That Your Child is Ready for a Closed System Catheter
1. Your child has frequent urinary tract infections.
Intermittent catheterization can increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), particularly if your child is reusing catheters, which is not approved by the FDA since catheters are designated Single Use Devices (SUDs).
Various options such as pre-lubricated or hydrophilic catheters can help keep the entire process of catheterization more smooth and well-lubricated from start to finish, which can help by reducing friction of the catheter against the urethra. Closed system catheters also often include an introducer or insertion tip, which allows the catheter to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria located in the first few millimeters of the urethra, rather than pushing that bacteria further inside the body during insertion.
Another benefit to closed system catheters is the inclusion of insertion supplies which even further reduce the risk of UTIs by including sterile gloves and antiseptic wipes.
2. Your child is in a wheelchair.
A very handy feature of closed system catheters is the entirely self-contained system inside a measurable bag. This offers a new freedom to be able to remain sitting down in a wheelchair without having to expel a lot of effort to move over to a toilet in order to cath. Practically anywhere that allows privacy can be an option with the portability of an advanced catheter like closed systems.
3. Your child has trouble remembering to wash their hands.
Closed system catheters are entirely self-contained, so they’re often completely touch-free, such as the GentleCath™ Pro, which comes in pediatric French sizes and was designed to minimize the risk of infection and allow for an easier and more sterile catheterization process.
A self-contained catheter keeps your hands completely off of the catheter itself, so you can guide the tube out by manipulating it from outside of the self-contained collection bag. Of course, hand-washing is highly recommended for each and every time you go to the restroom to self-cath, especially in a public restroom, but for those occasional instances where a sink and soap is not readily available in one’s chosen private cathing location, a closed system catheter can help minimize risk of infection from one’s hands. As stated before, closed system catheters also include helpful insertion supplies such as sterile gloves to wear over the hands while self-cathing and antiseptic wipes to clean the area before insertion.
These are just a few of the many reasons why a closed system catheter could benefit your child. Learn more about closed system catheters here and view our entire selection of pediatric catheters here.
Keep in mind that each situation and condition is unique to the individual, so closed system catheters may not be right for everyone. Please consult with your child’s doctor or urologist to determine what may be the best option, or contact one of our friendly, highly-trained specialists to discuss your options and whether or not these advanced catheters would be covered on your insurance plan.