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September is Interstitial Cystitis Month

by admin September 3 2013 15:06
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition, also called Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS), which most commonly affects women. It is important to 180 Medical to provide support and education to our customers with Interstitial Cystitis.

Interstitial cystitis (IC) causes the walls of your bladder become irritated and inflamed. The symptoms include discomfort, pressure, tenderness or intense pain in the bladder and pelvis. Interstitial Cystitis can also cause urgency and frequency of urination. People with severe cases of IC/PBS can urinate up to 60 times per day. Interstitial Cystitis varies on intensity of symptoms, and can go into remission.

While they are not entirely sure what causes Interstitial Cystitis, scientists believe IC/PBS may be a more general condition that causes inflammation in various organs and parts of the body.

Treatments for Interstitial Cystitis
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, to relax your bladder and block pain 
  • Pentosan (Elmiron) –the only oral drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for interstitial cystitis. It may restore the inner surface of the bladder. 
  • Nerve Stimulation, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, TENS, uses electrical pulses to possibly reduce frequency of urination. 
  • Bladder distension, the stretching of the bladder with gas or water can sometimes reduce symptoms. 
  • Instilling medication into the bladder, such as: Dimethyl Sulfoxide. 
  • Surgery, which is rare, due to possible complications. 
  • Intermittent Catheterization

For more information, visit the Interstitial Cystitis Association.

About the Author:

Trish has worked for 180 Medical for three years as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and daughters.


Learning to Self-Catheterize With Limited Hand Dexterity

by billf May 8 2013 11:51

bill fullertonMany medical conditions and injuries can cause limited hand dexterity. 180 Medical strives to make it easy for everyone to find a urinary catheter to fit each patient’s lifestyle, including those with limited hand dexterity. Our Catheter Specialists are well-trained in the best products, and what your insurance will and will not cover.

My name is Bill, and I am a C-5/6-quadriplegic. I have been living with my spinal cord injury for around 25 years, so today, I'd like to share a few of my personal tips and tricks for cathing with limited hand dexterity.

One of the first things to consider when catheterizing with limited hand dexterity is how to access your urethra. There are many products available on the market to assist quadriplegics and those with limited hand dexterity with the self-cathing process. Hands-free cathing mirrors, knee spreaders, and even the MTG Eagle Board are all great options, however I’ve found that the most effective solution is something that’s probably already in your home.

I use a manual wheelchair, and have found that the best way to hold my pants and underwear open is to use a plastic hanger or a bungee cord. You can take the hook of the plastic hanger, hook your pants and underwear on it, stretching the triangle part of the hanger around one of your knees. But, be careful not to break it. This should give you adequate access and provide a hands-free cathing experience.

You can also use a bungee cord by putting the hooks on your pants and underwear and then stretching the cord around one of your knees. Some companies offer special hooks shaped like a C that are designed to wrap around your pants and then around the front of your wheelchair seat.

Grasping the catheter can be quite difficult with limited hand dexterity, depending on your condition. Personally, my hands do not work at all. I have found the best way to get a good grip on the catheter is to use my forefinger from one hand, and my thumb on the other hand to grasp the catheter. I am able to get a very good hold on it by doing this.

If you're a quadriplegic and new to cathing, don't let yourself get discouraged too soon. It may take some time to get your process figured out. When I first started trying it took me up to 30 minutes to cath, I am now able to complete the process in about 10 minutes.

There are many resources online to help guide you through the cathing process, including our very own How To Catheterize guide. Our top priority at 180 Medical is to provide the best support for our customers as we possibly can, so don’t hesitate to contact us at any time and we’ll walk you through the process.

Related Posts You May Find Helpful:

bill fullertonAbout the Author:

Bill has worked for 180 Medical for almost ten years in various positions within the company. He works at the180 Medical corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, OK. He often speaks to customers about adjusting to life after a spinal cord injury.

Traveling by Air with Urinary Catheters

by billf April 16 2013 11:07

traveling by air with urinary catheters

Traveling with urinary catheters can be a bit intimidating, especially for people who are new to cathing. 180 Medical likes to keep our patients well informed, and up to speed with the latest urological research, news, and tips.

I spoke with Bill, who works for 180 Medical, for some tips on cathing while traveling. He was kind enough to give some very helpful tips. Bill was injured in a motocross accident over 23 years ago and has real world experience traveling as a quadriplegic.

bill f 180 medical employeeContact the Airline

One of the first things to do is to contact the airline you will be traveling with and inquire if the airline has any special procedures for traveling with catheters. The airline should advise of procedures you should follow. Ask if the equipment you bring on board meets Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines and follow some basic hygiene steps during the flight.

I have never had a problem with the airlines questioning why I am carrying the catheters and supplies, but if you are concerned you can always contact the airline you are traveling with and let them know.

Carry-on Bag Regulations

TSA has established air travel laws and regulations pertaining to liquids. For carry-on bags, you must place all liquids of 3.4 oz or less must fit on one quart-sized, clear, plastic zipper-lock bag. If your catheters have a water packet, they would need to be placed in the clear bag. Since medications are an exception to the rule, the catheters with water packets might be okay, with doctor documentation, but check with the airline to make sure. If you have lubricant, make sure it is 3.4oz or less, and it would also need to go in a clear plastic bag. For those who use lubricant with their catheters, the airline should be okay with it as it is required to catheterize.  You should not be limited on how much you can take, but keep it with your catheters so it will be more apparent what it is used for.  I have not had a problem with leakage but it might not be a bad idea to put the lubricant into a plastic bag. 

Pack the majority of your supplies in your check in luggage, but take enough on your carry on bag to last you until you get to your destination plus a few extra. One other option would be to ship your supplies to your destination. This way you don't have to worry about carrying around the extra load in your luggage.

Bring Extra Catheters

Count the number of catheters you will need for your trip.  It is a good idea to take enough extra catheters to last an extra day or two in case of unforeseen circumstances. This also includes lubricant and other supplies you use to catheterize.

Closed System Catheters

traveling by air with cathetersMany people prefer to use a more advanced catheter while traveling to try and reduce the chance of getting an infection. These catheters do not require lubricant and some are designed to where you don’t even touch the catheter which are called closed system catheters. Some people whose insurance will not cover them often purchase them just for traveling.

Antibacterial Wipes

If you will be catheterizing in the public restrooms it’s a good idea to carry some antibacterial hand wipes, such as wet ones, to wipe off your hands and urethra before catheterizing.

Restroom on Plane

If you are unable to use the restroom on the plane and your flight lasts longer than you can wait to catheterize there are a couple of options you can take.  One option is to use a Foley catheter while traveling. By doing this, you would only need to empty your leg bag if it fills to capacity before you reach your destination.  If it did fill up before landing you could always ask a stewardess for something to empty it into if necessary.  Some people will put a blanket over them and will catheterize in their seat.  

Visit the Transportation Security Administration website for more information and travel tips for carry-ons:

Editor's Additional Resources:
Delta's travel information for those with disabilities or wheelchair users
Card Issued for Air Travelers with Disabilities

10 ways to carry catheters discreetly
10 Ways to Carry
Catheters Discreetly 
traveling with catheters
 Traveling With

About the Authors:

Bill has worked for 180 Medical for almost ten years in various positions within the company. He works at the 180 Medical corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, OK. He often speaks to customers about adjusting to life after a spinal cord injury. Read more about Bill here.

Trish Eklund has worked for 180 Medical for almost three years, as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska, with her husband and daughters. 

180 Medical Shows Support to Urology Professionals in Oklahoma

by admin March 6 2013 15:30

180 Medical is just as passionate about nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals as we are our customers. It is important to us to show our support by participating in conferences, such as SUNA (Society of Urological Nurses and Associates).

Since 1972, SUNA has been advancing urologic nursing practice and patient care. They are dedicated to providing top-quality education programs and networking opportunities to members. SUNA publishes a professional, peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal (Urologic Nursing Journal) and a bi-monthly newsletter (Uro-Gram). SUNA establishes the scope and standards of urologic nursing practice and the scope and standards of advanced urologic nursing practice. SUNA provides scholarships, grants and awards to deserving nurses and other health care professionals. SUNA is a professional organization committed to excellence in evidence-based clinical practice, research, and education of its members, patients, families, and the community.

180 Medical recently had an exhibit at the OSUA (Oklahoma State Urological Association) Annual Meeting that they had in conjunction with the Oklahoma Chapter of SUNA in Tulsa, Oklahoma. OSUA is dedicated to study, discuss, and exchange information, experiences, and ideas in the field of urology and to engender a high quality of urological education for urologic nurses and allied health professionals. One of our Urologic Territory Managers, Michael Pampalone, represented 180 Medical while exhibiting at the meeting.

It is of the utmost importance to 180 Medical to support the community, education regarding urological research, practices, and services. SUNA and OSUA are wonderful resources to the community and we are proud to have been a part of the conference.

About the Author:

Trish has worked for 180 Medical for almost three years as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and daughters.


Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month

by kier September 1 2011 09:00

Breaking the Silence For IC!

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a painful condition due to inflammation of the tissues of the bladder wall. The cause is unknown and often the condition is diagnosed as a urinary tract infection.  Three to eight million women and one to four million men in the US suffer from the effects of this chronic pelvic pain disorder. 

Symptoms include urinary frequency (up to 60 times a day in severe cases), urinary urgency, and pain. 

Some ways to help reduce bladder discomfort is to try and remove foods which are high in acid, alcohol, or salt from your diet that may trigger severe bladder irritation and discomfort. 

Support groups are located all around the country, here is a good list to find one in your area.

September 2011 has been named Interstitial Cystitis Awareness Month.  For more information on interstitial cystitis please visit or

180 Medical helps people with their urologic catheters with this condition every day. If you have IC and need urologic catheters, call us today to see how we can help you.