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3 Types of Female Catheters

by Jessica February 6 2018 06:25
3 female catheter types

If your doctor has recommended intermittent catheterization as part of your treatment plan (whether due to bladder retention, urinary incontinence, multiple sclerosis, a spinal cord injury, or another medical condition that affects the way your bladder works), you may be feeling overwhelmed by the news and wondering where to start.

We completely understand, and we want to assure you that those feelings are perfectly normal. However, once armed with the right information and the right supplies for you, using female catheters can eventually become second nature to you. 

But first, you may want to learn more about the three main types of female intermittent catheters, so here's our simple guide!

Types of Female Intermittent Catheters

Intermittent catheters are small tubes designed to drain urine from the bladder. These are most often composed of vinyl or PVC, silicone, or red rubber latex, and they are considered single-use only devices, since they are inserted into the body via the urethra. Catheters have come a long way since they were first invented, and innovations in technology continue to roll out with new products that may offer a smoother catheterization experience as well as better discretion and ease of use.

woman with backpack Because the female urethra is only a few inches in length compared to the male urethra, female catheters are typically only 6 to 8 inches long, although there are shorter pocket-sized options. Some women prefer to use male length catheters, and this is based on preference and what works best for you.

Concerned about the catheter tube's diameter? That's a common fear, but there's no need to worry. Your prescribing physician will be able to test French sizes with you and properly determine with you what will work best for your individual anatomy and needs.

The right size will help with overall comfort as well as efficiency in drainage. For example, if you use a smaller female catheter French size than what fits your body best, you may notice urine seeping around the sides of the catheter (rather than only draining into the tube and down to your chosen receptacle, like a collection bag or toilet), which can literally leave a mess on your hands. If you use a larger catheter French size than necessary, you may have some difficulty with insertion, or you could experience some discomfort. Making sure to get the right size prescribed before ordering will be a big component in finding the right catheter for you!

After you and your doctor have discussed size options, you'll want to start thinking about the three main intermittent catheter types available for women. 

what female catheter is right for me


The three main types of intermittent catheters are:


Straight Catheters

Considered the original technology, female length straight intermittent catheters are uncoated and must be manually lubricated prior to insertion. Usually, this is done with individual packets of sterile lubricant, although some prefer using the flip-top tubes of lubricant. These can easily be included with your catheter order, and we can take into account what may be easiest for you to use, including factors like limited hand dexterity.

These are available in just about every material, and there are options both with and without color-coded funnels. This typically comes down to personal preference, but you will need to let your supplier know of any potential allergies, such as latex, as well as any chemicals you may want to avoid like DEHP. Sometimes also known as "in and out" catheters, intermittent catheter tubes are uncoated, so they must be manually lubricated before insertion, typically by individual-use packets of sterile lubrication which can be included in your orders.

Straight female catheters are typically fairly easy to conceal in one's pocket, makeup bag, or purse, and one benefit is that these may feel a little lighter than catheters that include additional insertion supplies or water packets, making them simple to carry or pack in one's luggage for traveling.

female straight uncoated catheters



Hydrophilic Catheters

Hydrophilic catheters are similar to straight catheters in many ways, but there's one key feature that makes hydrophilic catheters stand apart from other types. Female hydrophilic catheters have a coating that is activated by water to become slippery, smooth, and ready to use. This coating acts in place of lubricant, so you don't have to worry about carrying along a tube or packets of lubricant with you.

Depending on the brand, some hydrophilic catheters come with their own sterile water packet to burst inside the packaging and let the catheter soak anywhere from a few seconds to half a minute, and then it's ready to use. Others, like the SpeediCath Compact, is pre-packaged in its own sterile saline solution, so as soon as you open up this discreet package (designed to look similar to a makeup item like a tube of mascara or lipstick), your catheter is ready to use and then dispose of easily without muss or fuss once you've drained your bladder.

Most hydrophilic catheter manufacturers feature a handy guiding sleeve to allow you to manipulate the catheter for insertion without touching the tube itself and risking potential contamination from any possible germs left on your hands, even after washing up before use.

female hydrophilic catheters



Closed System Catheters

Female closed system catheters are a convenient option since it's basically an all-in-one system. The catheter itself is pre-lubricated and sterile inside its self-contained collection bag, which eliminates the need to carry additional lubricant, and many brands also have insertion supplies packaged with it as well, such as sterile gloves, an underpad, and antiseptic wipes. Most closed systems also have a pre-lubricated introducer tip that helps to bypass the majority of bacteria in the first few millimeters of the urethra, which further minimizes the risk of infection.

Some people in wheelchairs prefer closed system catheters, since they can sometimes eliminate the need to transfer from your chair to a toilet. Thanks to the self-contained collection bag, you can self-cath anyplace where you have privacy. 

There are options such as gripping aids for those with limited hand dexterity, as well as different materials of catheters, different collection bag sizes, and more. Our Catheter Product Specialists can discuss the different features that may appeal to you or work best for your needs.

female closed system catheters



Since we specialize in catheters as well as ostomy supplies, we carry all the major catheter brands and types, so you have the option to sample what might work best for you, and you have the freedom of choice to pick the brand you prefer.

male intermittent catheter brands


Ultimately, the decision about which type of catheter you should use will come down to your prescribing healthcare professional's assessment of your condition and personal needs. 

180 medical catheter specialist When you're ready to order, 180 Medical is here to serve you and your doctor in helping to select an intermittent catheter that will be easy for you to use while giving you a hygienic, comfortable, and convenient catheterization. 

We are catheter specialists that have been in the business for over fifteen years, and we've helped thousands of women, men, and children find the right catheter supplies. Our goal is to help turn your quality of life around with high-quality catheter products that can restore your confidence and sense of independence. Our catheter specialists will also offer you unparalleled service and a compassionate, listening ear. 

We also offer educational materials like full-color brochures and DVDs offering step-by-step instructions of how to self-cath.

Give us a call at 1-877-688-2729. We'd love the opportunity to discuss your female catheter options with you! 




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180 medical jessAbout the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years and is the Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for a company that truly cares for its employees and customers.

 

Pocket Catheters 101

by Jessica November 20 2017 09:05
pocket catheters 101 blog

Whether you've heard about them from your doctor, an online support group, or even television commercials, pocket catheters are one of the most talked about types of intermittent urinary catheters due to their convenience, ease of handling, and their ability to be carried discreetly. Learn all about pocket catheters and similar travel-ready options! 

What Is a Pocket Catheter?

cure pocket catheterA pocket catheter is a widely-used phrase that covers a few different styles of catheters for men, women, and children. The main and most important feature of a pocket catheter is that the packaging is small and discreet enough that is that it can be easily hidden inside a pocket, a purse, briefcase, backpack, or makeup bag, and depending on the brand, even in the palm of your hand as you walk to the restroom.  

Intermittent catheters are often packaged in a straight or longer parcel. Since the typical female length catheter is about 6 to 8 inches in length, they are already fairly easy to conceal. However, for pediatric length catheters, which are usually ten inches or longer, and male length catheters which are at least sixteen inches, users of these styles may want to find a more discreet or low-profile catheter.

catheter types and size comparisons to pocket catheter

What Options of Pocket Catheters Are Available?

Many versions of pocket catheters have all the familiar, high-quality features of the catheters you may already know and use, but depending upon the brand, there will be variations in their packaging, including size, shape, and what additional amenities may be included to aid a more hygienic catheterization, like insertion supplies.

180 medical catheter brand manufacturers
As always, 180 Medical will continue to keep you updated on the latest technology and new catheter products that become available on the market, but here are a few of the different options you may be interested in learning more about.

Pocket Catheters in Curved Packaging
cure pocket catheter xlCure Medical has a pocket version of its standard straight male-length catheter, the Cure U Pocket Catheter, where the entirety of the flexible catheter tube is curved to make the packet smaller, discreet, and more compact. Cure's catheters are made with high-quality material and will not kink when bent.

Cure also has a few other travel-ready options, such as a pocket catheter with lubricant included for your convenience and an extra-long pocket catheter (25 inches long), the Cure Pocket XL, which is great for those who often use extension tube connectors or are in wheelchairs. 

easycath pediatric pocket catheter for childrenThe Rusch EasyCath Pediatric Pocket Catheter is great if you're looking for a pocket catheter for your child. Once extended from the package, this high-quality PVC vinyl catheter is eleven inches for easy manipulation and it has polished eyelets to aid a smooth insertion. 

If your child is starting to self-cath on their own and needs a discreet catheter option to carry in their backpack or their pocket at school, a pocket catheter like this may be a good choice.

Compact Catheters

cure ultra female pocket catheterThe Cure Ultra is a new pocket-sized catheter for both women and men (female length pictured to the right), which features their exclusive CoverAll™ lubrication technology. This ensures an even, smooth distribution of the lubrication as the catheter is removed from its small, easy-to-open package. The design is environmentally friendly and simple to dispose of with minimal waste.

The Ultra is available in straight tip for both men and women, and there is also an option with a curved or coudé tip for those who have difficulty passing a straight tip, the Cure Ultra Coudé Male Catheter.

For women who want a discreet option with less mess and no fuss, they may find that the Cure Twist is the right choice for them. The Twist's packaging is designed to look similar to small cosmetics, like a mascara tube or lipstick. It has an easy-open twist top, and it's pre-lubricated, so as soon as you're ready, you can self-cath with no worries about mess or dripping.

speedicath compact female pocket catheterA similarly discreet item (pictured to the left) comes from Coloplast, a brand that has been around since 1957. Their mission is to develop products that make life easier on those who have medical needs, and the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact is certainly a product that fits that description due to its discreet packaging and ease of use. Available in options for both men and women, it is designed to look like an everyday item like a cosmetic product or a marker.

The female version is approximately 2.75 inches long, perfect for discreetly fitting into your pocket or packing in your suitcase for a vacation without worrying about too much additional bulk alongside your other toiletries and clothes. The SpeediCath Compact for Men is also ultra-discreet with a telescopic design that is less than half the size of a standard male catheter.

The CompactCath has a revolutionary design for ultimate privacy and ease of use. It looks unlike any other catheter on the market today. The flexible catheter is coiled inside a small plastic case that fits in the palm of your hand. Incredibly easy to pocket or carry, this catheter is also touch-free and is pre-lubricated with a silicone-based oil to aid in a super-smooth, comfortable insertion without need for additional lubricant.

compactcath pocket catheter for men and women

Pocket Closed System Catheters
Closed system catheters are a type of intermittent catheter with an all-in-one collection system. Often, they feature an introducer tip to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria in the first few millimeters of the urethra, which may reduce the risk of infection. Closed system catheters have attached collection bags, which gives you the freedom to self-cath wherever you have privacy, making it an ideal choice for those in wheelchairs, children, and those who are frequent travelers. 

RUSCH POCKETPAC CATHETER KITThere are some discreet closed system catheter options that offer even more privacy when you carry them with you, such as the Hollister VaPro Pocket Plus, the Hollister Advance Plus Pocket Catheter System, and the Rusch PocketPac Catheter Kit, which includes insertion supplies to aid the catheterization experience (gauze, BZK antiseptic wipes, two vinyl gloves, underpad, and a refuse bag to dispose of the catheter when you're done).

Other Discreet Options
Many of the intermittent catheters we carry are of such high quality that you can roll it or curve the packaging inside your pocket without kinking the tube itself or damaging the catheter. Typically many of our pre-lubricated and hydrophilic catheter options are travel-ready and can be discreetly tucked away, like the GentleCath™ Glide, available for both men and women.

The Glide was designed based on actual feedback from real users of catheters, and it's a great option for people who want a discreet and efficient catheterization experience.

gentlecath glide travel hydrophilic catheter

Take a look at more great options in our catheter showcase today!

How Can I Find the Right Pocket Catheter for Me?

Just contact us to speak with one of our friendly Product Specialists. We'll be glad to help you find an intermittent catheter that may best fit your individual preferences, and we also verify your insurance for you to determine how and if these products are covered on your policy.

Disclaimer: Please note that this post is intended to provide a general understanding of a few of the product options available that are considered smaller, discreet, or pocket catheters. This information should not be used in place of the recommendations for what type of catheter your professional healthcare provider recommends or prescribes for you to use, based on your personal anatomy and individual needs and preferences. Please consult with your prescribing physician for more information on which type of pocket catheter or travel catheter might work best for you.


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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.

10 Ways to Carry Your Catheter Supplies Discreetly

by Jessica August 12 2016 10:42
10 ways to discreetly carry your catheters blog header

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. 

There are also options called "money belts," which look like regular belts for your pants or jeans, but have a discreet zipper on the inside in which you can store your catheters.


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 to carry catheters

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. 


discreet 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.
 

Advanced Catheter Requirements With Medicare

by billf July 12 2016 08:04
advanced catheter requirements for medicare blog header


My name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. About 28 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Over the years since then, I've been able to help and counsel others who are also dealing with life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days, I spend a lot of time just talking to our customers on the phone who are new to catheterizing. 

One thing that I often talk to people about are recurring urinary tract infections (also known more commonly as UTIs). It's an unfortunate truth that self-catheterization can carry a risk of getting UTIs, even for people practicing sterile use. One upside to this is that there are advanced products which may help reduce the risk of UTIs, such as closed system catheters.

Many people who are insured by Medicare or an insurance plan that follows Medicare's guidelines may not have that as an immediate option, but if you continue to get infections while cathing with a standard straight intermittent catheter and lubrication packets while on sterile use, you do have an option to get Medicare to cover an advanced product for your needs, such as closed system catheters or hydrophilic catheters with insertion supplies

If you have been practicing sterile use with a new catheter and a new lubrication packet each time you self-catheterize, and you have experienced at least two UTIs within the last 12 months, you could possibly qualify. But it's important to have proof in the form of documentation which includes a urine culture and any corresponding symptoms that you might have experienced while you had the UTI. Let's go into these two things a little more in detail.

Cultures

The first step to take is to go to the doctor whenever you feel like you have a urinary tract infection. You will need to be able to provide them with a urine specimen so that they can do a formal culture test to determine if it is indeed a UTI. 

If it's a positive culture report, documentation must show that the urine culture has greater than 10,000 CFU (colony forming units), which is a way to show that the bacteria is present and growing at high colony counts. This counts as positive proof of a urinary tract infection.

Concurrent Symptoms

The second piece of information needed is any documentation proving that you experienced a symptom at the same time as your culture was taken. It is important that you mention to your doctor if you have one of these symptoms, and that they are documented in the progress notes.

Qualifying concurrent symptoms are listed below:
  • A fever greater than 100.4ºF or 38ºC
  • A change in urgency, increased frequency of catheterization, or incontinence
  • Increased muscle spasms
  • Systemic leukocytosis, which is an abnormal increase in the number of circulating white blood cells in the complete blood count (CBC). This can be determined through a urinalysis, which is often taken along with a culture.
  • Autonomic dysreflexia: sweating, blood pressure elevation, abnormally slow heart rate
  • Prostatitis: acute or chronic inflammation of the prostate gland
  • Epididymitis: discomfort or pain of the epididymis
  • Orchitis: inflammation of one or both of the testes, characterized by swelling and pain

Other Requirements to Be Eligible

In order to qualify and begin receiving the advanced catheter products with Medicare, you had to have been already practicing sterile use during the times you had the infections documented, while using one standard catheters along with one lubrication packet per each time you self-catheterize. 

The following practices would unfortunately make you ineligible for advanced catheters:

  • If you don't practice sterile use (using a new catheter and a new lubrication packet each time you catheterize).
  • If you use lubrication packets more than once (not considered sterile use)
  • If you use a tube of lubricant instead of a new, sterile lubrication packet each time.
Having this information before going to see your doctor should give you a leg-up in the process of getting qualified for advanced catheters that could help further reduce incidences of UTIs, if you are insured by Medicare or another insurance plan that follows Medicare requirements. 

If you have more questions about how you can qualify, please contact one of our friendly, trained specialists for more information.

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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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Are Closed System Catheters Right for My Child?

by Jessica April 8 2016 09:52
closed system catheters for kids blog title header

If your child has a condition that requires the use of intermittent catheters to drain their bladder, you may be wondering if they're using the right catheter for their individual needs. As a parent or guardian, your child's health, well-being, and comfort are likely some of your top priorities. So if they experience difficulty with cathing on their own, whether due to frequent urinary tract infections, concerns about privacy when self-cathing at school, or if they have limited mobility or dexterity, you might want to seek out a different option that could work better for their needs. 

HERE ARE A FEW INDICATIONS THAT MIGHT INDICATE YOUR CHILD IS READY TO TRY A CLOSED SYSTEM CATHETER:

1. Your child has frequent urinary tract infections. Intermittent catheterization can increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), particularly if your child is reusing catheters, which is not approved by the FDA, since catheters are designated Single Use Devices (SUDs). Various options such as a pre-lubricated or hydrophilic catheters can help keep the entire process of catheterization more smooth and well-lubricated from start to finish, which can help by reducing friction of the catheter against the urethra. Closed system catheters also often include an introducer or insertion tip, which allows the catheter to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria located in the first few millimeters of the urethra, rather than pushing that bacteria further inside the body during insertion.  Another benefit to closed system catheters is the inclusion of insertion supplies which even further reduce risk of UTIs by including sterile gloves and antiseptic wipes.

insertion supplies2. Your child is in a wheelchair. A very handy feature of closed system catheters is the entirely self-contained system inside a measurable bag. This offers a new freedom to be able to remain sitting down in a wheelchair without having to expel a lot of effort to move over to a toilet in order to cath. Practically anywhere that allows privacy can be an option with the portability of an advanced catheter like closed systems. 

3. Your child has trouble remembering to wash their hands. With closed system catheters, they're an entirely self-contained system, often completely touch-free, such as the GentleCath™ Pro, which comes in pediatric French sizes and was designed to minimize risk of infection and allow for an easier and more sterile catheterization process. Many closed system catheter products are self-contained, which keeps your hands completely off of the catheter itself, so you can guide the tube out by manipulating it from outside of the self-contained collection bag. Of course, hand-washing is highly recommended for each and every time you go to the restroom to self-cath, especially in a public restroom, but for those occasional instances where a sink and soap is not readily available in one's chosen private cathing location, a closed system catheter can help minimize risk of infection from one's hands. As stated before, closed system catheters also include helpful insertion supplies such as sterile gloves to wear over the hands while self-cathing and antiseptic wipes to clean the area before insertion.

These are just a few of the many reasons why a closed system catheter could benefit your child. Learn more about closed system catheters here and view our entire selection of pediatric catheters here. Keep in mind that each situation and condition is unique to the individual, so closed system catheters may not be right for everyone. Please consult with your child's doctor or urologist to determine what may be the best option, or contact one of our friendly, highly-trained specialists to discuss your options and whether or not these advanced catheters would be covered on your insurance plan. 

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 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 a Catheter Kit

by Jessica March 9 2016 22:43

If you use an intermittent catheter on a regular basis, you may find yourself with a few supplies that you've got to keep track of for each catheterization. You need to have enough catheters, lubricant, gloves, etc., on hand and ready. One way to avoid having to keep track of all of these accessories in addition to your catheter is to just use a catheter kit instead.

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Some advantages of a catheter kit include:
  1. Privacy and ease of use – A closed-system catheter kit includes a flexible catheter as well as accessories that further help to prevent the risk of urinary tract infections. With an all-in-one package, the catheter kit is easier to transport and use privately and quickly. You can self-cath just about anywhere - whether at home, in a public restroom stall, or any other private space. 
  2. The introducer tip – Most catheter kits today include an introducer tip, which is a lubricated tip which enters the first quarter inch or so of the urethra, which is the part that with the highest concentration of bacteria. closed system collection bagThus, when the actual catheter is deployed from the introducer tip, it is already beyond the main bacteria risk area and is far less likely to push bacteria into the body along with it.
  3. Pre-lubricated – Catheter kits typically have a pre-lubricated, sterilized catheter so that you do not have to lubricate it yourself.
  4. A collection bag – Although you may prefer to drain your catheter directly into a toilet or urinal, there can be advantages to using a collection bag. It allows you to inspect the urine for discharge, measure how much there is, and make sure you're not dehydrated. 
  5. Options for the mobility-impaired and limited dexterity – Most catheter kits are perfect for those in wheelchairs. If you have limited hand strength, there are special kits available to make the catheter easier to use correctly. You can ask one of our Product Specialists about these catheter kits. 
  6. Everything included all in one – Probably the biggest advantage of a catheter kit is that it includes everything you could need all in one place. You don't have to remember to pack your gloves when you walk out the door in the morning—they're in there. Sterilizing pads? Also there. Everything you need to use your catheter is in the kit, in the quantity you need, ready to go.

Questions about finding a catheter that's right for your needs? 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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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.