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10 Ways to Carry Your Catheter Supplies Discreetly

by Jessica August 12 2016 10:42
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Here at 180 Medical, one of the more common questions our Catheter Specialists hear is: How can I carry my catheters with me as discreetly as possible? 

While there is certainly no shame at all in having to use catheter products for your personal needs, whether due to a condition such as a spinal cord injury, bladder retention, Spina Bifida, or urinary incontinence, it's perfectly natural to want to keep your bathroom habits as private as possible, no matter where you are during the day -- school, work, traveling, church and other social functions, or even at home. 

Here are a few options that we've gathered over the years, some of which are direct tips from daily catheter users like you!

clothing  

1. For the quickest and easiest concealment, you can utilize your clothing to hide your catheter supplies. For instance, during a quick walk from your work or school desk to the bathroom, it's as easy as pocketing a lubricant packet and sliding a catheter package up the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt or blazer. Some people like to slide a catheter into the waistband of their pants, since some catheters are particularly flexible. One woman told us that on days when she wears tall boots at work, she slides her catheter, still inside its package, down the side of her boot and then walks from her desk to the bathroom with no one being the wiser. Many straight catheters are flexible enough to simply wrap into a circular configuration around your wrist and then store it in your pocket. Just be careful not to kink the catheter as you roll it up. 


makeup bag

2. Makeup or cosmetic bags are another convenient option for women or anyone who uses makeup, as they are readily available to purchase and come in a variety of sizes and lengths to suit your needs. Compact catheters such as the Cure Twist or Speedicath Compact are even designed to look similar to lipstick or mascara tubes.


glasses case 

3. An eyeglasses case can be a discreet alternative for any gender or age. Despite the length of the case (typically 6 to 8 inches), most any flexible straight catheter, whether male or female length, will be able to fold over enough to fit inside. Lubricant packets are easy to store inside these cases as well. Some eyeglass cases even come with neck straps, which leaves your hands completely free. You can find these easily for purchase online or even with your local optometrist.


pencil case 

4. Pencil cases are a cheap, discreet way to carry catheters, and depending on the size, they can hold a closed system catheter package as well. This may be an especially helpful alternative for teenagers and children still in school. Pencil pouches or cases can typically be found anywhere office or school supplies are sold. 


purse

5. A purse is another great option for toting your supplies throughout the day, no matter where you go. No one will think anything of it if you take your purse with you to the restroom, especially in public. Purses come in all varieties these days, from large shoulder bags to smaller clutches and cross-body messenger bags, and many of these options are acceptable for anyone to wear. Fanny packs too, also known as waist packs, are a smart, hands-free way to carry your items, and this style is especially helpful for those on vacation or traveling around during the daytime. Forget the puffy neon fanny packs of the 1980s and consider trying out a more stylish, updated pack that slides around your waist as easily as a belt but with a sleek, classic design with multiple pockets and zippers to store all manner of things. You could pack your catheters, your phone, and your wallet all in one small waist-pack and be ready to sight-see on your vacation without having to worry about carrying a large bag with you everywhere you go.


backpack 

6. Backpacks are always a great option, especially for students still in school. Most backpack designs have multiple pockets, both on the outside and inside of the bag itself, which allows for discretion while carrying the backpack throughout the day. For those especially concerned with maximum privacy, there are also locks specifically made just for backpack zippers, which you can find most anywhere school supplies or locks are sold, including stores online.


service dog backpack 

7. If you have a service dog, they're not just your close companion, but they also there to help you perform tasks and help you in many ways. You may or may not be aware that that there are special backpacks made just for dogs that have zippers or even Velcro flaps, perfect for concealing the items you need for your daily activities. These come in different colors and sizes and styles, and it doesn't even require a special order. They fasten rather easily, just like a regular dog harness might. You can find these online to order and even in your local pet supply store. No one will think twice about what might be inside the backpack that your dog is carrying for you, and this could be a great hands-free way for you to make sure your medically-necessary catheter supplies are close at hand at all times.


briefcase 

8. A briefcase or traveling case can be more than sufficient for tucking away one's necessary amount of catheter supplies and accessories, especially for the businessman or woman who may be frequently on the go for their jobs. If you often have to utilize airports for your travel, just remember the TSA's 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage. If you carrying a separate lubricant pack or tube, it is safe to bring aboard the airplane as long as it is 3.4 ounces or less in volume. It must fit in a quart-sized clear plastic zip-top baggie. If you're scheduled for a longer trip, such as a vacation or longer business trip away from home, it may be best to store some supplies in your checked luggage, but keep an adequate stock on hand in case of any luggage issues or delays.


180 medical kids club drawstring bag 

9. If your child is dependable in maintaining their own self-cathing schedule, they can utilize any of of the mentioned options above -- particularly a backpack or pencil case might be a great options.But if they have limited finger or hand dexterity or any difficulty with buttons or zippers, an easy-to-open drawstring bag, such as the one that you receive when you join the 180 Medical Kids Club for free, might be preferable. It can be draped from the back of a wheelchair, be left under a desk, or it can just sit it one's lap until it's time to cath. Also, if your child has other medical supplies that don't easily fit in the mentioned carrying options, such as diapers, you might be able to arrange a time to meet and discuss options with a trusted teacher or teacher's aide at your child's school. Odds are, there might be a spare cabinet or locker where they can safely store your child's supplies until it can be discreetly retrieved for use later. 


travel ready catheters

10. Consider a catheter specifically designed both for maximum discretion and/or travel, such as a pre-lubricated compact catheter, a pocket catheter and lubrication, or a closed system (which can be utilized for sterile intermittent catheterization even when there might not be immediate access to toilets). Depending upon what your insurance plan covers, you might even be eligible to get catheters that include insertion supplies such as antiseptic wipes and gloves to further reduce your risk of UTIs when catheterizing in public restrooms.

When considering the right way to discreetly carry your supplies, be sure to keep your catheter inside its sterile packaging at all times until you are ready to use it to self-cath. This will help you to minimize your risk of infection. 

We understand that there are individual needs and preferences that will influence which solution might work best for your needs. Consider all the options that might best meet your requirements.

180 Medical makes it a point to train our staff well, so you can feel confidence when you contact us to discuss your catheter options. We offer instructional materials and will treat your needs as seriously as if you were a member of our own family. We also have a few employees on staff who have personal experience both with adjusting to life in a wheelchair and with using a catheter daily. Give us a call today to talk to one of our friendly, trained specialists at 1-877-688-2729 during business hours.
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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. She loves writing, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends, & family.
 

Tips for Providing Support for Your Child Who Requires Self-Catheterization

by Jessica July 28 2016 09:45
tips for helping your child self cath


Being told that you have to catheterize in order to empty your bladder can be a scary thing to hear at any age, but a child can especially take this hard. He or she may feel different than other children, or they might feel they are alone in their specific condition. Whether your child experienced a traumatic event that damaged their spinal cord or has always had issues since birth due to a condition like spina bifida, the important thing is that they get as much support as possible. Let them know that there are many other kids all over the world who use catheters every day. If your child requires self-catheterization to empty their bladder, there are ways to help ensure their comfort, safety, and future independence. 

Helping Your Child Self-Cath

child in wheelchair Get Informed About Self-Cathing: Before you can provide help to your child, you must be able to have the information to offer guidance. Therefore, you should obviously do plenty of research. This starts with your doctor and nurse to discuss the various types of catheters, how to catheterize, basic hygiene when self-cathing, adverse effects to avoid, and other concerns that you might have. Your child's healthcare professional will want to speak with you and your child before he or she recommends self-catheterization to make sure your child is able to cath on their own too. In addition to your doctor, there are many other resources out there that you may want to utilize. We have our own 180 Medical Kids Club, which was established to help children and their parents adjust to this new way of life. 

Be Patient and Ready to Adapt: Understand that it might take some time for your child to get used to self-cathing. The amount of time will depend on their age and level of independence. It's important to provide positive instruction and allow your child ample time to complete the task. Remember that practice makes perfect, and your child may not master it immediately. 

Follow the Prescribed Amount of Times to Cath: Your child's healthcare professional will have laid out a basic cathing schedule, based on their individual needs and severity of the condition. It may help to reinforce self-cathing as a positive habit by creating a schedule of specific times to go to the bathroom. This schedule should be designed to fit your lifestyle. For example, if your child goes to school, this will need to be taken into account. In regard to reminders, you can create alerts on your child's mobile phone, but you may want to try to get them to remember on their own too, so they don't have to always rely upon others or technology as they continue to grow up and gain more independence.

A child brand-new to catheterization may have some hurdles to overcome, but it is possible to live a normal life while cathing. As a parent or guardian, you can play a key role in helping your child view this routine as a positive thing that allows them to stay healthy and become more self-reliant as they learn the basics of using pediatric catheters.

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A Guide to Male Incontinence Causes and Treatments

by Jessica July 21 2016 20:04
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Although Men's Health Month was last month (June), it's still very important to bring awareness year-round to common health issues affecting males. One such condition is incontinence, which can affect either gender. This is a condition where one is unable to control their bladder, which can develop suddenly or gradually over a period of time. 

Given the private nature of this condition, some men may feel embarrassed and will not seek out medical help. In addition to that, men, as a whole, do not go to the doctor as often as women. Therefore, they are less likely to receive a medical diagnosis and treatment plan and could potentially go years living with incontinence.

With this in mind, we want to provide a short guide to help men understand why they may be experiencing urinary incontinence, what they can expect when they visit a doctor, and potential treatment plans. 

What is Male Incontinence?

In a nutshell, male incontinence occurs when a patient can't control his bladder. There are several types of male urinary incontinence:

  1.  The first is stress incontinence. This occurs when an individual lifts a heavy object or strongly coughs and experiences bladder leakage. 
  2.  The second is urge incontinence. When this happens, the bladder contracts for an abnormal reason, which triggers urination.male urologist
  3.  The third is mixed incontinence which is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.
  4.  Finally, the fourth is overflow incontinence. This means that the bladder can't completely empty for some reason (urinary retention) and leakage occurs unexpectedly.

What Causes Male Incontinence?

There are a number of conditions that could potentially cause male urinary incontinence. While aging can certainly perpetuate those conditions, incontinence is not necessarily a normal sign of getting older. Some of the most common causes of male incontinence include an enlarged prostate, Parkinson's disease, and panic disorder. In addition to that, male incontinence could also be the result of a surgery or certain medications. For example, incontinence is a common side effect of prostate removal surgery.

What Might Your Doctor Recommend?

When a patient schedules an appointment with his doctor, the doctor will conduct a complete diagnostic exam to learn more about th
e symptoms and rule out specific conditions. He or she may recommend specific lifestyle changes. 

In the event of total incontinence, or if the symptoms of incontinence cannot be managed, the patient may require ongoing intermittent catheterization. The doctor and/or nurses will provide information on catheter kits, offer instruction on how to self-cath, and show the patient how to maintain a sterile environment to reduce the chances of an infection. In addition, the team of specialists here at 180 Medical can provide support in choosing the correct catheter for your needs, along with answering your insurance questions, offering billing support, and more. 

Male incontinence is more common than you think. If you are experiencing symptoms of incontinence, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to get treated and improve your day-to-day life. 

180 Medical Takes Steps for ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk

by Jessica June 15 2016 08:36
Last weekend in Portland, OR, ZERO Prostate Cancer held one of their Run/Walk events at Elizabeth Caruthers Park. When they can, our employees love a chance to get out in their respective communities and give back. So not only did we sponsor the event, but our 180 Medical employees in the local area jumped on board to attend and participate in this great cause, which is close to our hearts because so many of our customers have been affected by prostate cancer. In fact, according to the statistics provided by ZERO, one in seven American men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime. 

zero prostate walk run portland 2016
It was a beautiful, sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, and our employees Kelly, Breena, Julio, and Jesse all had a great time getting out in the fresh air to walk, run, and have some fun with everyone, all united in a single cause to end prostate cancer. ZERO is a national nonprofit organization that works to find a cure for prostate cancer as well as offer education and support to affected men and their families.

zero prostate cancer walk run collage 2
Many prostate cancer survivors were in attendance, and a few of them talked about their personal stories. There were fun activities, and even a children's race, where every one of them got a superhero cape at the end. All in all, it was a really amazing day, and we're proud of our employees who got to take part in the event.

To find out more about ZERO and find out ways that you, too, can help end prostate cancer, learn more at: www.zerocancer.org/participate.


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. She loves writing, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends, & family.
 

Closed System Catheters Can Help Those Adjusting to Life in a Wheelchair

by Jessica May 24 2016 21:00
Many new visitors to our website have just recently begun to transition to life in a wheelchair. Whether due to a medical condition, accident, or unexpected illness, we understand that this transition can be jarring. 

wheelchair stock

Our founder, Todd Brown, experienced this first-hand after his motocross accident, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. It took time for him to fully adjust to all the changes that came with being a new paraplegic, including struggles with frequent urinary tract infections at first. This can be common for those new to using catheters, since improper use (such as washing and reusing catheters) can lead to UTIs. 

If UTIs are something you've struggled with or want to prevent, consider the following:

1. Talk to your doctor.

Your doctor will be the best person to discuss any infections or illnesses, and they can come up with the right treatment plan based on your individual needs. 

2. Never reuse your catheters.

The FDA has determined that catheters are single-use devices, so be sure to use a catheter only once and then dispose of it, which can help you to avoid potential UTIs.

3. Make sure you're using your catheter properly.

Understanding how to properly catheterize will not only help lower the risk of UTIs, but it will also help you avoid unnecessary irritation. If you choose 180 Medical for your catheter supply needs, we can go over the process with you step-by-step, and we also provide instructional materials such as a detailed DVD and helpful booklets to provide you with the right education you need to get adjusted to your catheter insertion kit.

An important part of Todd's journey away from those frequent UTIs was learning about closed system catheters and their potential benefits for those in wheelchairs.

A closed system catheter can be a great solution for reducing the likelihood of UTIs for new catheter users. Not only does it provide everything in one easy-to-carry package, it also has specific features that can help you out with preventing UTIs as well as remaining in your wheelchair while catheterizing. 
  • Introducer Tip: This pre-lubricated tip on intermittent urinary catheters allows the users to bypass the first few millimeters of the urethra where the largest concentrations of bacteria are located.
  • Insertion Supplies: Closed system catheters often provide extra supplies that can help with the insertion process, such as sterile gloves (especially handy when cathing in public restrooms), antiseptic wipes to sterilize the area where you will insert the catheter, underpad, and more.
  • Ease of use while in a wheelchair: Because a closed system catheter is completely self-contained in a measurable bag, users can remain in their wheelchair, rather than attempt to transfer from chair to toilet every time. Also, any room that allows you privacy can become to a place to self-cath. 
180 Medical makes sure to train our staff well in order to earn the title "Specialist." That's why you can feel confident giving us a call when you're ready to begin ordering your catheter supplies. Not only do we offer helpful materials and treat you like a member of our own family, we have a few members of our staff who have personal experience adjusting to life in a wheelchair and using catheter daily. Give us a call today to see if closed system catheters could be right for you, and get one step closer to living more comfortably.

5 Highlights of Cure Medical Catheters

by Jessica April 14 2016 08:49

Buying the right catheter for your individual needs can make a difference in terms of cost, comfort, safety, and results. We carry quality products from all of the top name-brands on the market today, including GentleCath, Rusch, Bard, and more!

Just one of the many brands that we offer is Cure Medical. Here are some of the highlights and benefits of this particular brand of intermittent catheters:

  1. Latex-free: Not everyone has to worry about latex allergies, but it's important to know that a latex allergy can develop at any time. In most cases, it's best to just avoid the risk. Cure Medical catheters are 100% latex-free. 

    cure straight intermittent catheter
  2. Free of other allergens and chemical compounds: Have you heard of BPA or DEHP? Many people haven't, but these are compounds found in many common objects made of plastic. Research shows that BPA and DEHP can leech out of those plastics, and when they get into the body, they can possibly cause some issues. Both compounds are linked to thyroid problems, and DEHP is linked to a number of conditions including obesity, cancer, fertility issues, and immune disorders. Cure Medical guarantees that their catheters are BPA and DEHP-free.

  3. Easy to use: The guiding principle behind the development of Cure Medical's catheters was not only to make them safe but also easy for the average person to use. 

  4. Benefits a good cause: Cure Medical donates 10% of all their profits to medical research to find a cure for central nervous system disorders and spinal cord injuries. 


180 Medical is proud to carry a wide array of products from Cure, as well as many others. When you order your intermittent catheters from 180 Medical, you can be sure you're receiving a quality product. 
brands
Of course, the choice of which catheter to use is highly personal and depends on many factors, so no single brand or type of catheter is going to be right for everyone across the board. Please consult with your health care professional to discuss what type might be best for your needs, or contact one of our friendly, highly-trained specialists to discuss your options.

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14 Dos and Don'ts of Self-Cathing

by Jessica February 25 2016 21:38
At 180 Medical, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to stay as healthy as possible, especially when it comes to your catheterization needs. If your doctor or nurse practitioner has prescribed a regimen of self-catheterization, you're not alone. Many people all over the world use catheters every day to help them empty their bladder. All it takes is a little practice. 

Here are some helpful tips:

dos and donts of self cathing

DO:

  1. Gather all your supplies before beginning.
  2. Maintain as sterile an environment for yourself as possible. If you're away from home, we know that can be a little more difficult, since you can't control how clean a public restroom is. Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before catheterization and/or put on gloves before beginning. You may also wish to use antiseptic wipes to clean the area before inserting the catheter. A kit of insertion supplies may further to make the procedure more sterile and prevent possible infections. washing hands
  3. Follow the schedule for self-cathing that your healthcare professional prescribed for your specific condition. Stay on the self-catheterization schedule that your healthcare professional instructed you to follow. If you miss your scheduled time, catheterize as soon as you're able to do so. 
  4. Use the right catheter product for your needs, based on your doctor's instructions. 180 Medical has a wide array of all the top brands and types of intermittent catheters, including straight, coude, hydrophilic, closed systems, pediatric, and more. Our highly-trained product specialists would love to help you find the catheter that works and feels best for you. 
  5. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fresh water is good for your urinary system and your whole body. 
  6. Make sure you are using your catheters correctly. Follow the instructions given by your healthcare professional. 180 Medical also carries helpful instructional booklets and DVDs for supplemental education. 
  7. Ask if your insurance plan covers catheter supplies. We are contracted with thousands of plans, and we can contract your insurance for you to find out what kinds of catheter products are covered and how many you could get per month for your specific needs, per your healthcare professional's recommendation. 

DON'T:

  1. Don't reuse catheters. The FDA considers intermittent catheters to be only good for a single use. Studies show that sterile use (using a catheter one time and then disposing of it) reduces risk of urinary tract infections. Most major insurance companies today cover enough catheters for sterile use, because they know that reusing catheters often leads to infections, which can end up costing insurance companies more money. 
  2. Don't use someone else's catheters. We've gotten a few questions before where someone's friend or family member no longer need to use their catheters, and they have a few leftover which they offered to give away. It's risky to use a catheter that is prescribed for someone else, because everyone's body is different. For instance, some people require a coude tip to bypass urethral strictures, when a straight tip catheter just won't do. There are different lengths and French sizes to consider as well. When in doubt, consult your healthcare professional. 
  3. Don't use petroleum jelly to lubricate your catheter. It's best to use sterile water-soluble lubrication to lessen chances of infection and make the catheterization experience more comfortable. 
  4. When using a hydrophilic catheter, don't forget to burst the water packet, which activates the bonded lubrication, making the tube slippery and ready to use. 
  5. Don't forget to bring your catheter supplies with you wherever you go. For more information on catheterizing in public restrooms, go here for a detailed blog by an actual catheter-user.
  6. Don't ignore the signs of a urinary tract infection: fever, chills, aching in the lower back, cloudy or smelly urine, and burning sensations. See your doctor to have tests run and cultures taken at the first sign, so that it can be treated properly. 
  7. Don't worry too much. Remember that many people self-cath every day. As you continue, it will get easier, and eventually you'll be a seasoned pro. 
180 Medical has provided superior service and quality catheter and ostomy supplies to customers for years. Give us a call or contact us on live chat to see why so many choose and stay with us for their much-needed supplies. 

Disclaimer: Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of self-catheterization. It should not be used in place of a visit, call, or consultation with a physician or other healthcare provider.


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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 6 years and currently works as Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.
 

180 Medical Product News: Introducing GentleCath Pro Catheters

by Jessica February 22 2016 12:10
180 medical product news
Interested in keeping up with the latest catheter and ostomy products available on the market? 180 Medical is always ready to share the scoop on the newest supplies with you, and today, we'd like to introduce you to ConvaTec's new line of GentleCath™ Pro Closed-System Intermittent Catheters. 

What are the features of the GentleCath™ Pro?

gentlecath pro catheter componentsThe GentleCath™ Pro Closed-System was designed to minimize risk of infection and allow easier and more sterile catheterization. The system has an introducer tip as well as an all-in-one collection bag, which allows for "no touch" catheterization in a more portable system that is convenient for use both at home or away from home and traveling. Because you only touch the system's outer collection bag, not the catheter tube itself, this helps to reduce the risk of infection that can sometimes occur when bacteria from hands transfers to the catheter.

Breakdown of the main features:
  • Collection bag which allows you to measure and see the amount of urine drained
  • Portable system allows for easy catheterization away from home or when a restroom is not easily accessible
  • Pre-lubricated introducer tip, which allows the catheter itself to bypass the first few millimeters of the urethra, where bacteria is most highly concentrated
  • Also includes an underpad, gloves, non-staining antiseptic pad, and additional lubricating jelly

How do I use the GentleCath™ Pro?

For more information regarding how to catheterize, feel free to call one of our trained specialists so we can walk you through the process. 180 Medical also has one-of-a-kind catheterization instruction materials that we can send to you with your order, including a step-by-step DVD and printed color brochures.

Which GentleCath™ Products Does 180 Medical Carry?

180 Medical proudly carries GentleCath's entire product line, including their 100% latex-free PVC (vinyl) intermittent catheters, red rubber catheters, hydrophilic catheters, closed-system catheters, and catheter kits, all of which are available with both straight and coude tip options.

How Can I Find a 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 6 years and currently works as Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.
 

Advantages of Intermittent Cathing

by Jessica January 19 2016 15:38
You may have heard the term “intermittent catheterization” before, but you may not be completely clear as to what it means. Intermittent catheterization is the process of using a catheter to drain your bladder on a regular or semi-regular basis, rather than letting the catheter stay inside the bladder to continually drain the bladder into a collection bag (an indwelling or foley catheter is used for that purpose).  Typically, this is only required when there is something hindering the bladder’s ability to void urine naturally. An intermittent catheter offers many advantages and health benefits; read on to better understand intermittent catheterization and how it can help you.

The Purpose of Intermittent Catheterization

Intermittent catheterization is commonly used by those who experience incontinence, bladder problems, or urinary retention. Those who have a spinal cord injury, spina bifida, or a neurological problem also often require the use of intermittent catheters to drain their bladders. It may also be used temporarily after certain surgeries such as prostate surgery or an abdominal hysterectomy.  
doctors stethoscope
Your healthcare practitioner will instruct you on how to properly use an intermittent catheter, including how often you will need to drain your bladder based on your needs. Because catheters come in different types and sizes, your doctor will also help you determine which one is best for you and your condition. 180 Medical helps make shopping for catheters fast and easy, as you can conveniently see our selection of catheters online.

The Benefits of Intermittent Catheterization

  • It's Fairly Simple: While it may seem a little intimidating at first, self-cathing can become a relatively quick and simple procedure after a little bit of practice. Many people are able to catheterize themselves, or do so with the help of a caregiver.
  • It’s an Effective Solution: Neglecting to empty your bladder regularly can lead to urinary tract infections or even bladder infections. Intermittent catheterization is an effective solution to helping those who have difficulty emptying their bladders and helping prevent such health problems if done correctly. 
  • It’s Safe to Use: Compared to indwelling foley catheters, intermittent catheters have been found to cause less infections. Since foley catheters stay in the body for longer periods of time, urinary tract infections can become a constant problem for some.  By using an intermittent catheter, the chance of experiencing these side effects is greatly reduced. 
  • Inexpensive: Some healthcare and medical products can be relatively expensive out of pocket. Depending on your insurance provider, they may or may not cover certain items. Intermittent straight catheters are often the best option for those who are uninsured or underinsured, because they are rather inexpensive. 
  • Promotes Independence: Because intermittent catheters allow you to gain control of your bladder and care for yourself, they help promote independence and, more importantly, allow you a better quality of life.

 If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we can offer you quality catheters along with top-notch service, please contact our catheter specialists at 1-877-688-2729 or via our Live Chat feature online.

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What Is a Closed System Catheter?

by Jessica December 1 2015 12:49

You may already be aware that intermittent catheters come in all kinds, materials, sizes, and brands. Each person that needs to use catheters has their own preferences and particular needs that will determine what type of catheter may work best for them, whether that’s a regular straight catheter, a catheter with a coude tip, hydrophilic catheters, male or female or pediatric length, or a more advanced product called a closed system catheter. Today, we’re going to shed some light on exactly what a closed system catheter is and break down each component of this product, along with the benefits, including how it can possibly help make one’s self-catheterization routine easier and more hygienic. 

WHAT IS A CLOSED SYSTEM CATHETER?

A closed system catheter is, at a quick glance, a self-contained, sterile, pre-lubricated catheter housed within a collection bag. The collection bag eliminates the need to void the urine into a receptacle or toilet, and since it’s already self-containing, it also eliminates the need to hook up any other kind of bag or container. It’s basically ready to use once it has been opened. These systems often include other features to help assist with the catheterization process and keep everything more sterile. As with all other types of catheters, its main function is to drain the bladder of all urine in a comfortable, smooth process while minimizing risk of bacterial infection of the urinary tract and/or bladder.

WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF THE CLOSED SYSTEM CATHETER?

While there will definitely be some variance between brands, the majority of closed system catheters will have the same basic parts, as you can see in the below diagram.
closed system catheter

HERE ARE SOME ADDITIONAL FEATURES:

Many brands offer insertion supplies to help assist in the catheterization routine, which may include an opaque refuse/trash bag to hide/store the used catheter system, antiseptic wipes (typically povidone-iodine or BZK) to disinfect hands and the area of insertion, gloves to keep hands covered and reduce risk of infection, additional lubrication to make the catheter insertion more smooth (if needed), and a sterile underpad to set supplies or to protect your from any residual liquid. 


HOW DO I USE A CLOSED SYSTEM CATHETER?

For more detailed information regarding how to catheterize, please call one of our trained specialists at 1-877-688-2729 so we can walk you through that process. 180 Medical also has one-of-a-kind catheterization instruction materials we can send to you with your order, including a step by step DVD and detailed, colorful brochures, as well as online instructions for our customers.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A CLOSED SYSTEM CATHETER?

There are a few potential advantages of using a closed system catheter. It can be especially helpful for those with limited dexterity and/or in wheelchairs. The self-contained collection bag eliminates the need to try to find another receptacle, such as a separate bag, toilet/urinal, or other container for such purpose. One can catheterize from the wheelchair or any place with privacy.

Another benefit is the helpful introducer tip, which bypasses the first few millimeters of the urethra (where the majority of bacteria collect), allowing the catheter itself to pass through the urethra while minimizing risk of infection.

It’s a much more sterile process, because the catheter can be inserted without ever touching the actual tube, which can also lessen the possibility of bacterial contamination.

ARE CLOSED SYSTEM CATHETERS AVAILABLE IN MY SIZE?

It's highly likely, as many brands of closed system catheters will offer straight or coude tip, pediatric sizes, male or female length, various materials such as vinyl and red rubber, and a range of the common French sizes.

WHICH CLOSED SYSTEM CATHETERS DOES 180 MEDICAL CARRY?

180 Medical proudly carries catheters from all of the leading manufacturers and brands available today. Take a look at our online catheter showcase to view a few of the available options.

HOW CAN I FIND A CATHETER THAT'S RIGHT FOR ME?

Just contact 180 Medical by filling out our online inquiry form, connect to us via our online Live Chat, or give us a call at 1-877-688-2729 to speak to one of our highly trained, friendly specialists. We are happy to help you 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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