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Beating Spinal Cord Injury One Day at a Time: Mason Ellis's Story

by Jessica August 16 2017 06:09
mason ellis beating spinal cord injury quadriplegia

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. In fact, more than 35% of new spinal cord injuries each year are from car or motorcycle accidents. In 2015, just after the second semester of his senior year of high school began, Mason Ellis was involved in an car accident that left him a quadriplegic. From the beginning, he refused to allow his injury to beat him. Instead, he has made it his focus to defeat his injury one day at a time.

mason ellis quadriplegic

The Accident & the Aftermath

Mason couldn't have ever imagined that a fun night out with a friend driving along country roads in his home state of Indiana would lead to life in a wheelchair. After an unexpected four-way stop that dipped into a decline on a loose gravel, his car went out of control and hit an embankment, ejecting Mason nearly a hundred feet away. The car was totaled, but Mason was still alive, against all odds.
mason ellis SCI car accident
He was rushed to the hospital, and the doctors and nurses weren't sure he'd make it due to the extent of his injuries. In the crash, Mason's left shin, left femur, left collarbone, top and bottom jaw, the palate in his mouth, and some of his teeth were broken. On top of that, he cracked his skull and sustained a traumatic brain injury, and the fifth, sixth, and seventh cervical vertebrae in his neck were injured. He was now quadriplegic (C5, C6, C7).



Mason recovered in the hospital for 30 days before being transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana to start physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy (due to his brain injury). The rest of his time was devoted to learning how to gain independence back with skills like eating and brushing his teeth on his own. 

Although he looked forward to returning to his old routine after he was released from rehab, when he got home, he realized that life as a quadriplegic was going to be far more of a challenge than anticipated. Mason says, "I was clueless when I came home, and I didn't know anybody else who had my level of injury." After a few visits from a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, Mason was left on his own to learn how to maneuver in the world again as a newly paralyzed young man. 

On top of navigating life in a wheelchair, he also had to become responsible for his own catheterization routine. Mason was introduced to 180 Medical through his rehabilitation hospital, and once he discovered an intermittent catheter that worked well for his limited hand dexterity, he began to feel more confident about self-cathing.

mtg ez gripper closed system catheter mason ellis

Mason says, "I have to say the MTG EZ-Gripper really helps in preventing UTIs for me. It's a closed system, so you don't have to touch the tubing, and it has an introducer tip to bypass bacteria in the urethra." At 180 Medical, we have one of the largest selections of intermittent catheters, since no type or brand will be the right fit for everyone. We're always glad to take time to listen to our customers so we can help them find the right catheters for their individual needs and preferences.

Making a Positive Impact

Sharing Knowledge Through Videos 
As time went on, Mason says, "I hadn't really figured out how to do many things post-injury." Left with few options for information on how to complete tasks as a quadriplegic, such as daily strength exercises and getting dressed independently, he began scouring the internet for helpful resources. Unfortunately, his search came up short. The few videos he found weren't quite what he was looking for, and he figured that others like him might also be searching for the same information. He wanted to share his experience and how he has learned to do daily tasks that quadriplegics might want to know more about. That's when he decided he would take matters into his own hands; he would use his prior experience of making YouTube videos prior to his injury to create new video content and upload it to share on a YouTube channel

Soon, he started to hear from other people with spinal cord injuries who wanted to let him know how helpful his videos were. Family, friends, and loved ones of those living with spinal cord injuries also gave him positive feedback. To his surprise, he even heard from doctors, caregivers, therapists, and students learning about quadriplegia in medical school. 

Every day, more and more people discover the multitude of helpful videos Mason has personally worked so hard to create. He has hundreds of ideas left to offer, and he's excited to continue on this path and further develop his channel to connect and talk with others.


Some of Mason's most popular videos include:

Peer Mentoring Others with Spinal Cord Injuries
mason ellis peer mentor"People say I came a long way based on everything I broke. I haven't had many complications, and I feel really thankful for that," Mason says. Quadriplegics often face complications such as pressure sores and UTIs (urinary tract infections), and knowing this, Mason wanted to do what he could to help them.

He is now a certified Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation peer mentor, and he visits his old rehab to talk with recently injured patients before they are discharged to go back home.

During these mentoring sessions, Mason likes to share some of what he's learned, such as:
  • maintaining and gaining strength
  • proper hygiene
  • products that have helped him
  • staying mindful of the importance of doing pressure reliefs to minimize the risk of pressure sores


"I'm passionate about peer mentoring, because [my injury] really affected my life. I like to try and help out the community."



Staying Active & Meeting New People
Mason is more physically active now than he was before his injury. "I feel like I took being able-bodied for granted," he says, "So I never tried. Now, this is like proving to myself that I can do it and proving to others they're wrong if they say I can't do it." Some of the things he loves to do is hunt, fish, and ride in his adaptive UTV to visit friends and roam around the town where he lives.

mason ellis at camp possabilityOne place he loves to visit in the summer is a local camp in Indiana for disabled adults, ages 18-35, who have conditions like spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injuries. At Camp PossAbility, young adults get the opportunity to meet and befriend others like them and participate in fun outdoor adventures like adaptive horseback riding, swimming, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. Mason learned about the camp when someone reached out to him about it through his YouTube channel.

He was also able to connect with the creator of Able Outdoors Magazine, and now Mason is a contributing columnist for the magazine. He writes about some of his experiences with hunting and other fun adaptive outdoor activities.

When he mentors others, he likes to talk about some of these hobbies in order to let them know that life isn't over for them, and they can still do all the things they loved doing before in new, adaptive ways.

Looking Forward to Whatever Comes Next

mason ellis standing Outside of his growing YouTube channel, Mason keeps busy with college courses in Information Technology, and he hopes to have his car adapted so he can start driving again. He just wants keep moving forward.

Mason says, "I think it feels good to beat your injuries. It took me a while to figure everything out, but I like to say that I beat my injury when I learn certain tasks. I don't want the injury beating me."

Mason has already positively affected hundreds of lives with his videos, Able Outdoors columns, connecting with others at camp, and taking time to talk to people who need help adapting to their new life in a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury. We're sure he's going to go on to do many more great things and continue impacting others in significant ways. 


mason ellis sci quote

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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.


Making Dreams Come True After Spinal Cord Injury: Jen Goodwin's Continuing Story

by Jessica July 6 2017 06:11


Jen Goodwin's whole world drastically changed in single moment after a fun day boating on the lake went terribly wrong, and she sustained a serious spinal cord injury at the C5 and C6 level. After her surgery and over two years of rehab, she returned back home and began to adjust to daily life as a quadriplegic. Daily tasks that were once done without a second thought, like brushing teeth and going to the bathroom, became new skills to re-master. With a lot of practice and time, Jen kept moving forward and became acquainted to daily life in a wheelchair.

Being a very goal-oriented person who thrives on a challenge, Jen decided she was ready to tackle something new. Life was going well as Jen settled into her new routine, but she was ready to start thinking about what could be next for her. Since she had demonstrated an interest in law before, her mom suggested that she ought to try taking the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). It was a surprise and a joy to find out that she performed even better than expected, and she ended up getting a full scholarship to Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas.

Back to School

jen goodwin law school graduate quadriplegic Returning to school as an adult in a wheelchair was a whole new challenge to face. She wouldn't know anyone in her new classes at all, and there were other questions on her mind now too. How would she take notes and tests when she wasn't able to write? Would the school buildings be accessible for her? Of course, these were perfectly normal concerns to have.

"I think a lot of people are afraid to go back to school after [spinal cord] injuries," Jen says, "But talk to your local Vocational Rehabilitation Services, because they have a lot of resources and information to help get people back to school. And talk to your school's Disability Resource Center. They really want to help! Even if your injury prevents you from taking notes and typing, there are still ways to be successful in school."

Jen arranged some meetings with her school's Disability Resource Center, and she was relieved to find the staff ready and willing to discuss options with her. Together, they worked out what accommodations and adjustments would need to be made in order to ensure that she would have the same opportunities for success as every other able-bodied student at the law school, such as keypads to open doors, accessible bathrooms near her classes, digital copies of textbooks, and setting her up with classmates who could take lecture notes for her.

Another Dream Come True

jen goodwin spinal cord injury family Jen worked as diligently as possible at all her courses while still making time to get to know the other law students in her classes. After a year of school, she decided it was time to focus on one of the greatest wishes of her heart: to become a mother.

At the time, there were a few people who had some opinions on her life and even doubted that Jen could handle all of these responsibilities along with having a child of her own, but she didn't let that hold her back. Talking to Jen and hearing her story in her own words would certainly make you realize that her tenacity and optimism keeps her moving forward, and there's no obstacle she's not willing to work hard to overcome. 

With the support of her doctor and her family, she picked an anonymous donor and became pregnant at just the right time during winter break, so she could spend much of the time during her first trimester out of classes. The time off was spent practicing and working with a weighted doll to find the best techniques for lifting car seats, changing her baby's clothes, and more, all while an accessible nursery for her baby boy was added on to her home. Spring semester classes went on without a hitch, and then just after school let out in the summer, little Beckham made his early arrival in June.

Today, he has a mother who loves him more than anything in the world and a wonderful support system of close family and friends, especially Jen's parents and sister.

Jen's lifelong dream of being a mom had finally come true.


Looking to the Future

So what's next for Jen now that she's graduated from law school as of May of this year? Right now, Jen is prepping for the bar exam, and after that, she starts a two-year internship working with the legal department of the local children's hospital, which seems like the perfect fit for a woman with such a big heart for children. Plus she can bring her own experiences with the legal system and living with a disability.

"I am a firm believer that the right doors open when they're supposed to," says Jen, "So we'll see what happens after that!"

We're so excited to see all the ways that Jen will go forward to achieve more dreams as well as positively impact others' lives during her journey. There were certainly obstacles along the way, but she came out on the other side with a smile, a law degree, and a son of her own. Limitations and setbacks may happen in life, but Jen is living proof that with optimism and tenacity, nothing can hold you back.

jen goodwin quote 2

Read Part 1 of our two-part series on Jen's life, her accident, and her time in rehab.

part 1 jen goodwin story


About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.


Determined Spirit: Jen Goodwin's Story of Life After Her Spinal Cord Injury

by Jessica June 30 2017 06:13


Nearly a decade ago, Jen Goodwin was on top of the world. She'd graduated from the University of Arkansas, bought her first house, and adopted her first dog. Then she got her dream job as a pharmaceutical sales rep, which came naturally to her with her friendly personality, big smile, and a real talent for sales. It seemed like life couldn't be better. Then everything changed in the blink of an eye. 

The Day Everything Changed

A fun day of boating and swimming at the lake with her neighbors in the summer of 2008 turned into a nightmare after dark. She and another neighbor were out in his boat when he fell backwards onto her head and then used her neck almost like a springboard to push himself back up to stand again. Immediately, she saw a flash of bright white and had a warm pleasant feeling that gave way to searing pain, and then she realized she couldn't feel her legs. It was clear something was very, very wrong.

jen goodwin picAt first, her neighbor didn't believe that she had been hurt, even claiming that she was faking her injury. In cases like this, when someone says they're hurt or have possibly sustained a spinal cord injury, it's important to keep them still and get help from emergency services as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this didn't happen for Jen. Due to her injury, she couldn't sit up or hold on to anything to maintain balance during that terrifying trip over choppy waters back to the boat ramp. It took a lot of pleading for her neighbor to relent and, after loading her into the floorboard of his truck, he eventually drove her forty-five minutes away to the local hospital.

As soon as they arrived, paramedics sprang into action to help Jen. It was obvious that she was seriously hurt, but the true extent of the damage wasn't fully known until they ran some tests. Despite her pain and fear, Jen tried to maintain a positive attitude, but when the doctor sat down with her to tell her that her neck had been broken and her spine was severely compressed at the C5 and C6 level, leaving her quadriplegic and unlikely to ever walk again, she finally let herself cry. She knew then for sure that this wasn't a simple injury that could be quickly fixed. Life had changed forever.

Life During Rehab

Naturally, Jen was heartbroken at all that had happened to her, but she didn't let herself stay down for long. She was ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead. Her surgery was scheduled on a Sunday, and she transferred to the rehabilitation center on Thursday, one of the fastest post-surgery patients that the staff at the hospital had seen.

jen goodwin quote 2Her first goal was just to raise her hand high enough to scratch her nose. Initially, she had no lower extremity movement and no control of her triceps, because of the level of her injury, but she kept that tenacious drive and continued working hard to meet challenges head on and eventually was able to achieve that first goal she had set for herself. "I just looked at it like, 'This is my chance, so I'm going to give it absolutely everything I've got every single day,' and because of that, I was able to get a lot stronger," says Jen. 

Although she was determined to push through therapy and work hard, it felt like a lot of the techniques and skills they were teaching her in rehab wouldn't be possible for her to master at first. After a lot of practice and determination to gain back some strength, she received validation that hard work and dedication to her goals made things possible when others might have thought it wasn't possible.

Altogether, she spent nearly two years total in rehabilitation therapy, including a controlled intensive therapy study at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta Georgia. She worked as hard as possible to reach her goals, and during that time, she also met some of her best friends. They affectionately dubbed themselves, "The Quad Squad," and they still meet up regularly for vacations and get-togethers.

Her ultimate goal was to learn to walk again, and finally, she was able to walk down and back again on the length of a basketball court. It took an hour and was achieved with the help of two therapists, a spinal electronic nerve stimulator (or e-stim), and a walker. This was a turning point for Jen in figuring out her next goals.

"I decided I could either learn to walk, or I could learn to live," she says of her decision to move on after focusing entirely on rehab for over two years. It was only because she gave her all and worked as hard as she could for so long that she felt able to let go of the old goals and focus on new ones.

Moving Forward

There were all kinds of new challenges to face during that early period of life after her injury. Once rehab was over, Jen had to put the skills she had learned into action and worked to develop new strategies for accomplishing basic, daily activities around the house, and even in getting around in the world, such as learning to drive again with the help of a modified car. She devoted nearly a year to designing and planning an accessible home to have built next to her parents' house, and another year was spent learning how to live in it on her own. 

One additional aspect Jen had to consider was learning how to self-cath. It can help to have a catheter supply provider with trained product specialists on staff who are willing to take time to listen to concerns and questions. She found 180 Medical through a spinal cord injury event and has been with us ever since. "I absolutely love 180 Medical. You guys sci connection facebook linkhave always been great about getting the supplies I need and letting me know about any new products that come out. I can always rely on you to get my supplies to me when I need them," says Jen.

Depending on the level of injury, some may not be able to manipulate a catheter on their own. Jen tried out a few different catheter options while using a gripping catheter clamp to better hold them, but when she tried out a newer option the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Set, she knew she'd found the perfect fit for her needs. "It's so nice that they fit right in my purse. They're super discreet and ready to go, and I can actually grip them with my hands." Since Jen loves to travel, it's super handy to have an option for catheters that are lighter and take up way less space in her luggage too. 

It wasn't always easy. From the frightening night of her injury through years of hard work and dedication to physical and rehabilitation therapy, the journey to where she is now was long and challenging. Jen understands that things can seem bleak to those who have been recently injured, but after going through all she has, she encourages others to not lose sight of goals or give up. 

Thinking about what might come next was never far away from Jen's mind as she settled into daily life. There were a few big dreams that she had always wanted to accomplish that kept coming up in her mind, and she decided she wasn't going to let her spinal cord injury get in the way of achieving those dreams.

Check out this awesome video from Permobil Corporation to meet Jen in person as she talks a bit about her goals and her experiences with her wheelchair.




Find out all about the next chapter of Jen's life and the new goals she set for herself in Part 2 of our two-part series. 


jen goodwin part 2


About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.


180 Medical Product News: CompactCath Intermittent Catheter

by Jessica May 31 2017 09:17
compactcath new catheter product

At 180 Medical, we love to keep you in the know on the newest catheter and ostomy products available, so you're up to date on the latest supply options that might fit your needs and preferences. In this post, you can find out more about the new CompactCath catheter for males and females.

What Should I Know About the CompactCath Catheter?

compactcath travel pocket catheterAll About CompactCath

CompactCath is a revolutionary new intermittent urinary catheter designed to better address some of the main concerns of catheter users, such as better discretion, convenience, and hygiene.

In 2011, a team of physicians, engineers, and business students met at Stanford's Design for Service Innovation class with the goal of designing a new catheter solution that delivers comfort and ease of use. They approached development of the catheter by talking to and visiting the homes of hundreds of catheter users to truly understand their needs and what they wanted from an intermittent catheter. During their research process, they found that although most catheter users had no issue catheterizing in the comfort of their homes, a majority still felt some anxiety when going out and cathing in public restrooms and other settings away from home. So the team began working to create a modern intermittent urinary catheter that is compact, convenient, and can fit seamlessly into users' everyday routines.

Features of the CompactCath

  • 16 inch length: Although this is typically male length, the CompactCath is considered unisex, so both men and women can use it. 
  • Discreet design: Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and comes in opaque packaging, CompactCath doesn't look like a typical catheter, which allows users to maintain discretion and privacy.
  • pocket catheter option compactcathPre-lubricated: The sheath contains silicone oil, which lubricates the length of the catheter tube as it is pulled out of its case. This reduces friction during the process of catheterization and reduces risk of urethral irritation.
  • Non-touch: CompactCath's plastic case and hygiene sheath work together to create a sterile environment and provide a non-touch insertion.
  • Improved control: Plastic case with a control handle to hold the catheter in place and prevents it from being coiled back into the case during the process of insertion.
  • Polished eyelets and smooth surface coating: This allows for an easy and comfortable insertion and withdrawal.
  • Flow control funnel: The design of the funnel prevents urine from flowing until the user is ready to drain, providing full control.
  • Currently available in 12 French and 14 French sizes.
  • Sterile, single-use.

Learn more about CompactCath with the below video:



How Do I Use the CompactCath Intermittent Catheter?

countdown how to cath step 1Prepare by washing your hands, using a disinfecting wipe, and/or putting on gloves for additional protection. 


countdown how to cath step 2Peel open the pouch and remove the catheter. No need to pinch the body of the case, because this restricts the free movement of the wheel and can prevent the catheter from pulling out. Hold it by the rim.

countdown how to cath step 3Advance the catheter tube out by pressing down on the handle and gliding the sheath out until the catheter reaches your bladder. 


countdown how to cath step  4Once your bladder is empty, aim the catheter in the desired receptacle and unplug the funnel by pushing it outwards to drain. 


how to cath step 5After catheterizing, simply coil the catheter back inside the case and dispose of it discreetly and hygienically. how to catheterize booklets and dvd


For more information about the process of catheterization, you can visit www.howtocath.com, which offers instructions for men, women, and children in all options for straight, hydrophilic, and closed systems.

Also, you can contact us at 180 Medical where one of our friendly, trained specialists can walk you through the process of catheterization and send you samples of the CompactCath to try out. We also offer one-of-a-kind instructional materials that can be sent to you with your order, including printed color brochures and a DVD. 

compactcath intermittent urinary catheter

How Can I Find the Catheter That's Right For Me?

Just contact us to speak to one of our trained, friendly specialists. We'll be glad to help find the right intermittent catheter that will best fit your individual preferences and needs, and we can also verify your insurance to determine if and how these products are covered on your policy. 

Disclaimer:
 Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of how to self-cath using the unique design of the CompactCath. However, it should not be used in place of the recommendations for how you should catheterize based on your personal anatomy and needs. For personal instructions, visit, call, or consult with your prescribing physician or other professional healthcare provider.



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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Product News: SpeediCath® Flex Coudé Catheter

by Jessica April 13 2017 05:46
speedicath flex coude catheter 180 medical

We love to keep you informed on the new catheter and ostomy products on the market, so you're fully aware of all the latest supply options that might fit your needs. In this post, you can find out more about a new and easy-to-use intermittent catheter product from Coloplast, the SpeediCath® Flex Coudé Catheter.


What Should I Know About the SpeediCath® Flex Coudé Catheter?

About the SpeediCath® Flex

The SpeediCath® Flex is a newly released catheter that offers an all-in-one, discreet, and convenient way to self-cath. With an ultra flexible insertion tip, you can easily guide the catheter through the urethra and into the bladder more comfortably, and the dry sleeve surrounding the tube itself allows you to catheterize without ever touching the catheter, offering you a more hygienic and sterile cathing experience. When you're done, simply lock the ends back together for a clean and discreet way to dispose of the catheter. 

Key Features of the SpeediCath® Flex

  • Male length (14 inches)
  • Soft-squeeze grip
  • Dry sleeve for no-touch insertion
  • Hydrophilic coating for a smooth, friction-free insertion
  • Flexible, soft insertion tip
  • Packaging that is easy to open and close back for tidy disposal
  • PVC-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sterile, single-use


Source: Coloplast

How do I use the SpeediCath® Flex Catheter?

countdown how to cath step 1Wash your hands and gather any accessories you may need, such as disinfecting wipes or gloves, then remove the cover label from the adhesive area on the catheter package, so you can attach it to a clean surface within your reach when you're ready to open and use it.


countdown how to cath step 2Prepare by using a disinfecting wipes, putting on gloves, or laying down a drape on your lap for additional protection, if you prefer.



countdown how to cath step 3Open the packaging by using the circular ring to pull the package covering out and then down until you see the gray dots indicating the tear stop.



countdown how to cath step  4Open the catheter by twisting the lock. Be sure to hold both sizes of the catheter up so that none of the liquid inside, which helps lubricate the catheter, will escape or drip out. If you use a collection bag for your urine, you can easily connect the catheter to it. Don't let the flexible tip touch anything before you insert it into your urethra to make sure the entire process stays as sterile as possible.


how to cath step 5After catheterizing, simply put the ends back together and twist the lock to seal the catheter. You can put it back inside the collection bag and close it to dispose of it hygienically and without mess.


For more information about the process of catheterization, you can visit www.howtocath.com, which offers instructions for men, women, and children in all options from straight, hydrophilic, and closed systems.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of how to self-cath. However, it should not be used in place of the recommendations for how you should catheterize based on your personal anatomy and needs. For personal instructions, visit, call, or consult with your prescribing physician or other professional healthcare provider.

Also, you can contact us at 180 Medical where one of our friendly, trained specialists can walk you through the process of catheterization and send you samples of the Flex to try out. We also offer one-of-a-kind instructional materials that can be sent to you with your order, including printed color brochures and a DVD. 


coloplast speedicath flex coude 180 medical


Which Coloplast products does 180 Medical carry?

180 Medical is proud to carry a wide variety of Coloplast catheter products, including their Compact catheters, straight catheters, coudé catheters, hydrophilic catheters, closed system catheters, and more. 

We also provide catheters from all of the major brands available on the market today.

180 medical catheter brands carried


How can I find the catheter that's right for me?

Just contact us to speak to one of our trained, friendly specialists. We'll be glad to help find the right intermittent catheter that will best fit your individual preferences and needs, and we can also verify your insurance to determine if and how these products are covered on your policy. 



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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Product News: GentleCath Glide

by Jessica March 7 2017 09:15
180 medical product news gentlecath glide

Interested in keeping up with the latest catheter and ostomy products available on the market? 180 Medical is always ready to share the details on new products with you, and today, we'd like to introduce you to the GentleCath™ Glide.

What are some key features to know about the GentleCath™ Glide?

gentlecath glide hydrophilic catheterThe Glide is a recently launched low-friction hydrophilic catheter with options for both men and women that was specifically designed with FeelClean™ technology to reduce the mess left behind by lubrication after cathing. It's a fast and easy option for those who want a comfortable, super-smooth catheterization experience from start to finish. Simply break the included water sachet to coat the catheter and activate the low-friction hydrophilic surface, and it's ready to go with no additional waiting time. The No-Touch sleeve helps make insertion more simple and lessens the risk of contamination from your hands, which may also reduce the risk of infection. 

Here are some of the main product features:
  • Manufactured without DEHP or latex
  • No-Touch handling sleeve to minimize risk of infection
  • Water sachet included for activation
  • FeelClean™ technology reduces mess
  • Hydrophilic surface
  • Available in both male length (16 inches) and female length (6 inches)

glide catheter user testimonial 1

How do I use the GentleCath™ Glide?

ConvaTec offers a helpful online video guide which you can easily personalize for yourself and your individual needs in less than 30 seconds, including choosing instructions for adults, children, or parent/caregiver, as well as options between male, female, and whether you are a wheelchair-user or not. Once you have selected the options that fit your situation best, a personalized video will be ready for you to watch, offering step-by-step instructions for this easy-to-use hydrophilic catheter. Personalize your GentleCath™ Glide instructional video here.

gentlecath glide hydrophilic catheter how to cath instruction video

Once you have prepared for catheterization by washing your hands, or putting on gloves and using a disinfecting swab or wipe on the area of your urethra, lay out the Glide in front of you. Make sure the included sterile water sachet is near the funnel end of the catheter, and break the sachet by pressing on the blue guide dot. You'll want to let the water coat the entirety of the tube from end to tip to activate the hydrophilic properties, and it's ready to use! Just open the pack by peeling apart the easy-open tabs and handle the catheter by the funnel and the included blue No-Touch sleeve to avoid contaminating the catheter with your hands, and you're ready to insert the catheter. glide catheter user testimonial 2

For step-by-step information about how to catheterize, you can visit www.howtocath.com, which offers instructions for men, women, and children in all options from straight, hydrophilic, and closed systems.

Feel free to contact us at 180 Medical, as well. One of our friendly, trained specialists will listen to your needs and individual preferences and walk you through the process of catheterization. We also offer one-of-a-kind instructional materials that can be sent to you with your order, including printed color brochures and a DVD. 


Which GentleCath™ products does 180 Medical carry?

180 Medical is proud to carry the full catheter product line from GentleCath™, including straight catheters, coude catheters, hydrophilic catheters, closed system catheters, and more. 

How can I find the catheter that's right for me?

Just contact 180 Medical by filling out our online inquiry form, connecting to us via Live Chat, or giving us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to speak to one of our trained, friendly specialists. We are happy to find the right catheter for your needs, and we can verify your insurance to determine if and how these products are covered on your policy. 


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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.
 

Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?

by Jessica February 16 2017 02:19
why do i need to use coude catheters blog header

Have you been recently told you need to use a catheter with a coudé tip? There are a few key reasons why the coudé catheter is often utilized in place of the standard straight tip variety of intermittent male length catheters, and we'll shed some light on that as well as letting you know some of the basic information about a coudé and how this can benefit you, based on your individual needs. 

What is a Coudé Tip Catheter?

A coudé tip catheter is a variety of intermittent or foley catheter (most often available in male length, which is typically about 16 inches on average to accommodate for the length of the male urethra). Instead of the standard straight tip catheter, the insertion tip of the coudé catheter is bent or curved slightly, almost like an elbow. In fact, the French word for elbow is how the coudé catheter got its name.

These are available from most of the major brands on the market today and are manufactured in all of the main catheter materials (vinyl, silicone, and red rubber latex varieties). You can get a coudé tip in most every common catheter type as well, from basic straight intermittent catheters, pediatric sizes, hydrophilic and pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheters. 

coude vs straight tip catheters

When is a Coudé Tip Catheter Necessary?

Coudé catheters are generally only used when a standard straight tip catheter cannot be inserted easily or comfortably. This is due to a few reasons, usually related to a stricture or blockage in the urethra, which is the tube in the body which carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. The curved tip of a coudé catheter is often a better choice to bypassing those problem areas and drain the bladder with far less discomfort. 

A few of the most common factors that contribute to this need:
  • Enlarged prostate (or benign prostatic hyperplasia, almost known as BPH)
  • Prior prostate surgery
  • False passages in the urethra or a stoma
  • Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
  • Those with urinary stricture disease or urethral trauma
The majority of coudé catheter-users are men or occasionally boys, which is why most coudé catheters are male length or pediatric length. However, they can be used for any gender when a straight catheter does not pass, depending upon your individual physiology and needs.

Will My Insurance Cover Coudé Tip Catheters?

Most major insurance companies, including Medicare and many state Medicaid programs, cover coudé catheters, although the amount you can receive per month will likely depend upon your specific policy's coverage. 

Medicare, for instance, will typically cover up to 200 catheters per month (enough to self-cath between 6 and 7 times a day in a 30 day period), as long as there is a doctor's prescription for that amount as well as some supporting documentation offering justification why a coudé tip is necessary rather than the standard straight tip.  

At 180 Medical, we can handle verifying your insurance coverage to determine how your policy will cover your catheters and let you know if you will have any out-of-pocket cost, and we will also work with your doctor's office to get the necessary documentation, so that's one less thing for you to worry about as you begin your journey of learning to self-cath with a coudé catheter.

How Do I Insert and Use a Coudé Catheter?

Your prescribing healthcare professional will likely offer help and instructions in their facility or office, as well as letting you know how many times per day you will need to self-cath. But here are some basic how-to instructions for coude catheters that should help.

  1. Gather all of your cathing supplies and keep them nearby.lubricating the catheter
  2. Wash your hands, as well as the insertion site with warm soapy water. If available, disinfect using betadine swabsticks or wipes, wiping with a circular motion around the urethral opening. This may help reduce risk of infection. 
  3. If available, put on gloves to further reduce risk of contamination of the supplies by any possible germs left on your hands.
  4. Take your catheter out of the package and lubricate it with a sterile, water-soluble lubricant.
  5. While holding the penis gently in one hand, use your other hand to hold the catheter. Pull the penis up and hold it at a 45-degree angle away from your stomach.
  6. Insert the catheter slowly into your urethra. Some brands of coudé catheters have helpful guide dots or stripes available to help you keep the curve of the coudé tip in the angle and direction as  your doctor has suggested/shown you. If there is any resistance when the catheter reaches the sphincter muscle of your bladder, take a deep breath and gently apply steady pressure but do not force the catheter.
  7. When the urine begins to flow, insert the catheter a little further and lower the penis to allow your urine to flow into the toilet, urinal, or other receptacle.
  8. Once the flow of urine has stopped, you can slowly remove the catheter. 
  9. Throw catheter away.

We can also send you full-color instructional brochures and videos that will walk you through the catheterization process step-by-step with visuals. 

No matter what kind of intermittent catheter you need, 180 Medical can help you find the right supplies for you and your individual needs and preferences. Give us a call today at 1 (877) 688-2729 to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly Product Specialists to discuss your catheter options. 


Related Posts
catheter 101


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

Why Do I Need to Use Coudé Catheters?

by Jessica January 26 2017 19:17
why do i need to use coude catheters blog header
Have you been recently told you need to use a catheter with a coudé tip? There are a few key reasons why the coudé catheter is often utilized in place of the standard straight tip variety of intermittent male length catheters, and we'll shed some light on that as well as letting you know some of the basic information about a coudé and how this can benefit you, based on your individual needs. 

What is a Coudé Tip Catheter?

A coudé tip catheter is a variety of intermittent or foley catheter (most often available in male length, which is typically about 16 inches on average to accommodate for the length of the male urethra). Instead of the standard straight tip catheter, the insertion tip of the coudé catheter is bent or curved slightly, almost like an elbow. In fact, the French word for elbow is how the coudé catheter got its name.

These are available from most of the major brands on the market today and are manufactured in all of the main catheter materials (vinyl, silicone, and red rubber latex varieties). You can get a coudé tip in most every common catheter type as well, from basic straight intermittent catheters, pediatric sizes, hydrophilic and pre-lubricated catheters, and closed system catheters. 

coude vs straight tip catheters

When is a Coudé Tip Catheter Necessary?

Coudé catheters are generally only used when a standard straight tip catheter cannot be inserted easily or comfortably. This is due to a few reasons, usually related to a stricture or blockage in the urethra, which is the tube in the body which carries urine from the bladder outside of the body. The curved tip of a coudé catheter is often a better choice to bypassing those problem areas and drain the bladder with far less discomfort. 

A few of the most common factors that contribute to this need:
  • Enlarged prostate (or benign prostatic hyperplasia, almost known as BPH)
  • Prior prostate surgery
  • False passages in the urethra or a stoma
  • Radiation in the pelvic area to treat cancer
  • Those with urinary stricture disease or urethral trauma
The majority of coudé catheter-users are men or occasionally boys, which is why most coudé catheters are male length or pediatric length. However, they can be used for any gender when a straight catheter does not pass, depending upon your individual physiology and needs.

Will My Insurance Cover Coudé Tip Catheters?

Most major insurance companies, including Medicare and many state Medicaid programs, cover coudé catheters, although the amount you can receive per month will likely depend upon your specific policy's coverage. 

Medicare, for instance, will typically cover up to 200 catheters per month (enough to self-cath between 6 and 7 times a day in a 30 day period), as long as there is a doctor's prescription for that amount as well as some supporting documentation offering justification why a coudé tip is necessary rather than the standard straight tip.  

At 180 Medical, we can handle verifying your insurance coverage to determine how your policy will cover your catheters and let you know if you will have any out-of-pocket cost, and we will also work with your doctor's office to get the necessary documentation, so that's one less thing for you to worry about as you begin your journey of learning to self-cath with a coudé catheter.

How Do I Insert and Use a Coudé Catheter?

Your prescribing healthcare professional will likely offer help and instructions in their facility or office, as well as letting you know how many times per day you will need to self-cath. But here are some basic how-to instructions for coude catheters that should help.

  1. Gather all of your cathing supplies and keep them nearby.lubricating the catheter
  2. Wash your hands, as well as the insertion site with warm soapy water. If available, disinfect using betadine swabsticks or wipes, wiping with a circular motion around the urethral opening. This may help reduce risk of infection. 
  3. If available, put on gloves to further reduce risk of contamination of the supplies by any possible germs left on your hands.
  4. Take your catheter out of the package and lubricate it with a sterile, water-soluble lubricant.
  5. While holding the penis gently in one hand, use your other hand to hold the catheter. Pull the penis up and hold it at a 45-degree angle away from your stomach.
  6. Insert the catheter slowly into your urethra. Some brands of coudé catheters have helpful guide dots or stripes available to help you keep the curve of the coudé tip in the angle and direction as  your doctor has suggested/shown you. If there is any resistance when the catheter reaches the sphincter muscle of your bladder, take a deep breath and gently apply steady pressure but do not force the catheter.
  7. When the urine begins to flow, insert the catheter a little further and lower the penis to allow your urine to flow into the toilet, urinal, or other receptacle.
  8. Once the flow of urine has stopped, you can slowly remove the catheter. 
  9. Throw catheter away.

We can also send you full-color instructional brochures and videos that will walk you through the catheterization process step-by-step with visuals. 

No matter what kind of intermittent catheter you need, 180 Medical can help you find the right supplies for you and your individual needs and preferences. Give us a call today at 1 (877) 688-2729 to speak with one of our highly-trained, friendly Product Specialists to discuss your catheter options. 


Related Posts
basics of coude catheters  
catheter 101


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

All About Catheter Eyelets

by Jessica December 8 2016 08:34
all about intermittent catheter eyelets

When considering the brand or type of urinary catheter you'll be using, the eyelets might not be the first thing you think of as an important feature. As a matter of fact, the quality, size, and placement of the eyelets can add or detract greatly from your overall catheterization experience. We hope to offer you a more detailed explanation of why that is, as well as the possible options that are available so that you, together with your prescribing health professional, can make the right decision on what intermittent catheter may work best for you.

What Are Catheter Eyelets?

The eyelets of a catheter are the small holes located typically on or around the insertion tip of an intermittent catheter. These are placed here so that when the catheter enters the bladder, the urine can enter the passage of the catheter tube and then drain out accordingly.

Punched Vs. Polished Catheter Eyelets

catheter eyelets close up One of the first and perhaps most obvious differences between intermittent catheter eyelets would be how the eyelets are created during the manufacturing process.

One way to create a catheter eyelet is by literally punching a hole in the material, sometimes called "cold-punching." While this will create eyelets that do their intended job, some catheter-users find that punched eyelets are a little rougher and the edges can create some discomfort as the catheter moves through their urethra.  

Many catheter products being manufactured today have eyelets that are polished. Polishing the holes makes the edges much smoother, which allows for a more comfortable catheterization with less friction. 

Size and Shape of Catheter Eyelets 

The catheter eyelets can vary from brand to brand in terms of shape and size. Larger eyelets may allow urine to drain a little faster, as will having two or more eyelets versus just one. Smaller or fewer eyelets will allow the urine to flow a little more slowly from one's bladder. However, this also depends upon the brand itself, as some catheter types may also have more narrow interior passages due to their unique layering, which could also account for slower drainage.

Another point to take into consideration is that the shape of the catheter eyelets may also play a role in how comfortable a catheter may feel. In an in vitro study in 2014, researchers looked at how eyelet shape affects the surface tissue of the urethra. It was determined that wider drainage eyelets allowed more tissue to dip into the hole, which may create a feeling of discomfort, irritation, or friction. This might be another aspect to consider when looking at your catheter options.

Finding a Catheter That's Right For You

There are many intermittent catheter brands and types out there, and we know that the wide selection can be overwhelming, especially when you’re learning to self-cath for the first time. And of course, there is no one catheter brand that works best for everyone. We have a wide variety of intermittent catheters for men, women, and children from all of the top catheter brands available today, and since we specialize in catheters, we know our business from top to bottom. If you find your current catheter is not as comfortable of an experience as you feel it should be, or if you are ready to try out some alternate products, feel free to contact us to speak with of our highly-trained, friendly specialists today.

References: Walker M, Lambrethsen J, Winther T (2014). In vitro testing of tissue deformation by catheter eyelets

180 medical online catheter showcase footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

Travel With Catheters: Tips For Thanksgiving Weekend

by Jessica November 18 2016 09:33
traveling with catheters blog header

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which, for many people, means there is traveling ahead to be with family and friends for the holiday. Did you know that Thanksgiving is actually one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, with over 44 million people on average traveling during the holiday weekend?

Travel can sometimes be stressful for everyone, but for people who use urinary catheters and carry catheter supplies with them, there is an added element to planning a trip that requires some forethought and organization in order to make the trip as successful as possible. 

What Should I Do If I Have to Travel By Air?

top 3 tips for traveling with cathetersOne of our employees, Bill, wrote a detailed blog post several years back that offers some great tips on what you should do if you self-cath and need to travel on an airplane. Just to refresh your memory, here are several important things to do:

1. Contact the airline before your flight.
The airlines are incredibly busy at this time of year, so you'll want to contact your airline as soon as possible once you've scheduled your flight. Ask the representative if they have any special procedures for traveling with catheters in your checked or carry-on luggage. In addition, it might be a good idea to make sure your catheter supplies and any other medical equipment or accessories meet the TSA guidelines, so there are no surprises when you get to the airport.

2. Know and follow the current TSA Guidelines for Liquids.
The TSA Guidelines have what is known as the 3-1-1 liquid rule. You are allowed to bring a quart-sized clear bag with liquid items, aerosols, gels, creams, and/or pastes through the security checkpoints in carry-on luggage as long as each item is 3.4 ounces or less. Make sure to pack your lubrication and any other liquid supplies in accordance with this guideline in order to avoid any hold-ups at the TSA checkpoints. 

3. Be prepared to bring documentation if needed.
If you plan to pack all of your supplies in carry-on instead of checking any luggage, it's possible, depending on your supply type, that you might need to provide some sort of medical exemption or documentation from your doctor proving the necessity of your medical supplies, such as your catheters.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Pack extra catheters just in case you are required to stay longer than originally planned. 
  • It's a good idea to pack at least a few days worth of your catheters and any other medically necessary items in your carry-on luggage, just in case your checked luggage gets delayed.
  • Remember to use proper hygiene, especially when self-cathing in public bathrooms. Washing your hands and using antiseptic wipes and other insertion supplies may help reduce the risk of contamination or infection no matter where you are. 

For other questions you may have about traveling with your catheters, contact our team of friendly, trained specialists at 1-877-688-2729 today.