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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.


Related Posts:


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
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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. 

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.
 

180 Medical Product News: Extra Long Cure Medical Pocket Catheter

by Jessica July 14 2016 10:20
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 Cure Medical's latest product, the Extra Long Cure Medical® Pocket Catheter.

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What are the features of the Cure Medical® Pocket Catheter XL?

The Cure Medical® Pocket Catheter XL is an extra-long male-length catheter that was designed for those individuals who use extension tubing to make the catheter distance a little longer in order to have more room to grip or to more easily reach the receptacle such as a toilet or urinal. It is particularly handy for catheter-users who are in wheelchairs. With a catheter that is 25 inches long, there is plenty of length to help facilitate easier catheterization without having to move from one's wheelchair over to sit on a toilet. wheelchair man

Here are some of the main product features:
  • Shorter package that can be carried in a pant pocket, bag, backpack, briefcase, purse, etc.
  • Gripper sleeve to help control the catheter and more easily insert and manipulate the tube
  • Packaging features large flaps to facilitate easier opening with little effort -- can be helpful for those with some dexterity issues
  • Water-soluble lubricant included to create a smooth cathing experience
  • Made of high-quality material, not made with DEHP, BPA, nor latex
  • 25 inches long, available for use in either gender
  • Cure Medical donates 10% of their net income to research for a cure for spinal cord injuries and central nervous system disorders
  • Currently available only in 14 Fr.

How do I use the Pocket Catheter XL?

cure pocket xlThis catheter is designed to make self-cathing from a wheelchair easier without the need for a separate extension tube. After opening the package and lubricating the catheter with the provided water-soluble lubricant packet, you can begin your self-cathing routine. 

For more detailed information regarding how to self-catheterize, feel free to contact us. One of our friendly, trained specialists will listen to your needs and individual preferences and walk you through the process of catheterization. We also offer one-of-a-kind instructional materials that can be sent to you with your order, including printed color brochures and a step-by-step DVD. 


Which Cure products does 180 Medical carry?

180 Medical is proud to carry Cure Medical's full catheter product line, including their straight catheters, coude catheters, hydrophilic catheters, closed system catheters, pocket catheters, and more. 

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

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

catheter showcase

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.
 

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.
 

Understanding the Difference Between Catheter Types

by Jessica November 19 2015 18:27
understanding the types of catheters

Getting acclimated to using a catheter on a regular basis can seem daunting at first. It can feel like a big change in regards to your life and daily schedule. Finding out as much information as you can about catheterization may help you feel more comfortable with the process. The first thing you'll want to understand will be the differences between the various types of catheters that are available to you. As always, consult your doctor before purchasing or using any sort of medical device. 

Let's examine the two main types of urological catheters that are inserted to drain the bladder.
gentlecath catheters

Intermittent Catheters

These types of catheters are typically inserted via the urethra or a stoma, and then once the bladder is drained, the catheter is thrown away after each use. Your doctor or healthcare practitioner will teach you how to insert the catheter yourself, since you will likely be doing this on a regular basis, and they will let you know how often to cath via a prescribed or recommended schedule.

Intermittent catheters come in a variety of optionsstraight tip, coudé tip (for those who are unable to pass straight tip due to strictures, blockages, etc.), and varying lengths, including male, female, and pediatric length.

There are three main sub-types of intermittent catheters to know about.

Straight Catheters
This type of intermittent catheter is the first, original type of catheter, although they have come a long way since the first catheter's invention. This catheter is uncoated, so each one must be manually lubricated prior to insertion. This can be done with the use of individual packets or tubes of sterile lubrication. These are also available in travel-sized pocket catheters, which come in a curved or U-shaped package and can be discreetly tucked into your pocket for easy carrying

straight male catheters


Hydrophilic Catheters
Hydrophilic catheters are similar to straight catheters when it comes to the options for various lengths, straight or coudé tip, and pocket catheter or travel-ready options. The main difference is that hydrophilic catheters have a unique coating which, when activated by water, becomes lubricated and ready to use with no need for additional lubricant, as well as less mess and effort.

hydrophilic male catheters


Closed System Catheters
Closed system catheters are sterile catheters that are typically in a self-contained, all-in-one package with a collection bag. Often a great choice for those in wheelchairs, closed system catheters often come with additional insertion supplies like gloves, an underpad, and antiseptic wipes to minimize the risk of infection. They are pre-lubricated and come with an introducer tip to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria in the urethra as you insert the catheter. 

male closed system catheters


All of the above-mentioned types of intermittent catheters are typically available in a variety of options, depending on the brand you choose, including:
  • straight or coudé tip
  • male length
  • female length
  • pediatric length
  • pocket catheter options

Indwelling Foley Catheters

If your doctor has determined that you'll need to use a catheter for a long period of time (or even indefinitely), and an intermittent catheter is not an option for whatever reason, then you may have an indwelling, or foley, catheter inserted.
This type of catheter is usually placed in your bladder while at your doctor's office, a hospital, or other healthcare facility. A foley catheter is typically inserted through the urethra (unless this is no longer a viable entry-point, in which case they can be placed through a stoma). Rather than draining the bladder and then throwing the catheter away, this type of catheter is held in place by a small balloon that is inflated once the insertion tip has reached the bladder, and it can stay in for days or even weeks, depending on a doctor's recommendation.
The downside of using a foley catheter is that it can leave you more susceptible to urinary tract and/or bladder infections, since it is left inside the body for long periods of time. 

At 180 Medical, we carry all the major catheter brands and types, so you have the option to sample what might work best for you and have the freedom of choice to pick the brand you prefer.

male intermittent catheter brands
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing from the various types of catheters available on the market today. Your doctor can help you determine what kind will be best for your needs. 

With the right research and professional guidance, you'll be able to make this transition as easily as possible. Contact us at 180 Medical to start receiving the right intermittent catheters for you!

Disclaimer: Please note that this post is intended to provide a general understanding of product options that are available on the market. This information should not be used in place of your prescribing professional healthcare provider's recommendations, based on your personal anatomy and individual needs. Please consult with your doctor to find what type of catheter may be right for you. 


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Does It Matter What Brand of Catheter You Use?

by Jessica November 10 2015 11:57
For some, the topic of catheters can seem overwhelming, especially for individuals who are new to learning to self-cath. Whether you'll be using intermittent catheters temporarily or on a long-term basis, you’ll be surprised by how simple the process can be once you’re familiar with it. Don’t get too overwhelmed by all the information out there, and know that you are not alone when it comes to catheterization. Plenty of people every day begin to self-cath and are becoming more comfortable with it as they go. Just take it one day at a time.

gentlecath closedOne point of confusion about catheters that our customers sometimes encounter is trying to figure out which particular product to use. While your doctor will serve as a great resource in determining what type of catheter is best for you to use, there are some decisions you can make on your own, such as what brand of catheter to buy. 

So, does it really matter what brand of catheter you use? There are some product differences from brand to brand, but when you get your catheter supply from a reliable source, you can feel comfortable in knowing you’ll be taken care of. Reputable and well-known medical supply companies such as 180 Medical carry a wide selection of quality products from all of the top brands today, so you can rest assured that you’ll find the right product for your needs. 

Even so, there are leading brands in the industry with which you might want to be familiar: Bard, Coloplast, GentleCath, HollisterMTG, Rochester, Rusch, LoFric, Cure, and Hi-Slip, just to name a few.

brands


180 Medical is proud to carry a wide array of products from these well-known brands and many others. When you order your intermittent catheters from 180 Medical, you can be sure you're receiving a quality product. Adjusting to life with a catheter can take time, so it's our goal to make the process of purchasing them as easy and convenient as possible. We have one-of-a-kind instructional materials available as well, which can help you see and understand the self-cathing procedures with step-by-step catheterization instructions in print and on DVD. We have material available for men, women, girls, and boys. We also have catheter users on staff who can share their experiences and tips.

Contact us today to discuss your options and find the right brand for your needs!

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4 Things to Look For When You Need Female Catheters

by Jessica October 1 2015 17:53
Whether you have just been instructed to start using intermittent catheters or you’ve been using them for years, it’s understandably pretty tough to find the right female catheter supplier who meets all of your needs. There are many catheter suppliers out there making big claims about what they have to offer, but not all are equal in terms of giving you unparalleled service on all fronts. Here are some things to look for as you seek out the right company for your intermittent catheter supply needs.

1. Personalized, superior customer service.

Your time is valuable, and your medical needs should be a top priority to a supplier. Look for companies that deliver unparalleled customer service. Instead of long hold times or automated menus, a company that cares about your needs will deliver a quick response time from a live person when you call customer support or access live chat on their website.  When you speak with someone, you should be treated as more than just another number. Good supply companies will have knowledgeable representatives who really listen, understand your needs, and help find the right intermittent female catheter for you, based on your prescription, lifestyle, preferences and prior experiences.  

2. Specialization in catheters.

180 medical 100 satisfaction guaranteeThere are lots of medical supply companies out there, but not all of them focus specifically on catheters. Companies that deal with all kinds of medical supplies may seem like a convenient option, but their brand and product availability may be limited, and their staff may not be very well-educated on what type of catheter might be best for your needs. 180 Medical, however, specializes only in intermittent catheters and ostomy products, so they carry all major brands and types, and their trained staff is educated about the product lines they offer and the advantages of each. With employees on staff who are also catheter-users, this particular company can provide firsthand guidance and information on purchasing and using catheters that other companies may not be able to do.

3. Direct Shipping.

Why inconvenience yourself by having to pick up supplies from a pharmacy or paying for shipping each time you order, when you can get your catheter supply delivered directly to your doorstep for free? This not only saves you time and money, it also protects your privacy. A good online female catheter outlet can ship the exact product you need quickly with no hassle.

4. They take care of the paperwork for you.

You’re already dealing with enough in your life. There’s no need to act as the middle man between your doctor’s office and your catheter supplier or have to figure out all the insurance paperwork for billing. Look for a company that can communicate directly with your physician for any needed documentation and bill your insurance for you.

180 Medical can do all this and more for you. Contact us today 
at (877) 688-2729.

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What to Know About Rusch Catheters

by Jessica September 22 2015 21:04
Rusch catheters are one of the many established and trusted name-brand catheters that 180 Medical carries in their inventory.  Before you order or use any catheter, it's important to make sure you know everything you need to in order to ensure safety and effectiveness. Here are the basics to think about before choosing a catheter:

  1. Only use a catheter when recommended by your doctor and with proper training – Even though they are frequently used in the home environment, catheters are medical devices and must be used carefully. Only use a catheter when your doctor has recommended it. If your doctor recommends that you discontinue, do not keep using it. Most importantly, catheters should be inserted only by those with the proper training, which means that you will need assistance with them until you have been properly taught. The good news is that you can be shown by the nurse or doctor and can learn how to cath very quickly. 

  2. Make sure you're choosing the right product – No brand is exactly like another. Ask your doctor for their recommendation on what sort of catheter is most appropriate for your particular needs. 180 Medical carries a wide selection of intermittent catheters from all of the most quality brands on the market today, washing hands and Rusch also has a varied line of catheters to give plenty of options. This is good to know, because not every product is going to work for everyone and their specific needs. Ask your doctor for their recommendation on what sort of catheter is appropriate in your particular case. You will also want to get the correct length of catheter, which will be based on whether you are male or female, and the dimensions of your particular body. Females may sometimes prefer male length for more room to grip the catheter, which is also perfectly fine. 

  3. Ensure proper insertion – All intermittent catheters are sterile and in packaging, but you may want to clean the area surrounding your urethra to minimize the amount of bacteria and lessen the risk of infection. Depending on the type of catheter you get, you may need to lubricate it for the smoothest insertion. Regular straight catheters may require this, while pre-lubricated, closed system, and hydrophilic catheters will not. Without lubrication, insertion can be painful and even cause damage and irritation to your urethra. This also increases the risk of infection, so having a properly lubricated catheter is a must. After the bladder has been emptied, the catheter should be removed, thrown away, and the area cleaned again. You should always wash your hands thoroughly both before and after the catheterization process.

 If you have any other questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or contact us at 180 Medical! We have the expertise to help you find the right catheter for your needs!

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Catheterizing in Public Restrooms

by billf June 10 2015 08:02
bill f pictureMy name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. Nearly 26 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Since then, I've been able to help and counsel others who are getting acclimated to life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time talking to our customers on the phone who are new to catheterizing.

One thing I get a lot of questions about is self-catheterization in public restrooms. Naturally, people new to cathing can sometimes feel a little unsure about this - from discretion to how to be as clean as possible while cathing. While some people can schedule their daily plans around their cathing routine so they can be at home when it’s time to self-cath, this can be limiting for those who travel, work, or have an active lifestyle. For most people, there’s not a guarantee you’ll always be at home in the comfort of your own bathroom when it is time to catheterize and empty the bladder. I’ve even spoken to some individuals who have skipped cathing to avoid having to do so in a public place, but this is not advisable, as you could be damaging your bladder and kidneys by holding urine in too long.

As a catheter-user myself, I thought I could help to shed some light on the best methods for self-cathing when you’re not at home. We hope this helps you with some ideas on how to make self-cathing away from home as easy and safe as possible.

Transporting Catheter Supplies

When planning to cath away from your home, whether traveling, working, or just having a day out and about, there are different ways of transporting your supplies with discretion and ease.
  • To make the catheter more discreet when carrying it, you can fold the catheter into a soft U-shape or wrap it around your hand into a circle. You just want to make sure you don’t get a kink in the catheter as this could make it difficult to use. We do offer a male length pocket catheter that comes packaged already in a U-shape for those who don’t like to fold their catheters. 
  • Consider your catheter options. There are pocket catheters, compact catheters, closed systems, and more -- all of which may make your cathing experience away from the home more discreet and convenient, depending on your individual needs. 
  • There are many different options in how to carry your supplies. Many wheelchair users carry their supplies in a bag or backpack and hang it on the back of their chair. Some people are able to carry their supplies in a pocket. I have heard of people using anything from eyeglasses cases to money belts. With time, you can find what will work best for you. Learn more about carrying catheter supplies discreetly in this blog post.

Sterile Preparation and Catheterization

When you are in your own home, you are not exposed to as many germs and bacteria that you may encounter when cathing in a public restroom facility. You can just wash your hands at the sink, go to your toilet or the area designated for your routine, and prepare your supplies accordingly.

However, in a public facility, you never know what the surroundings will be like. It's important to keep the process as sterile as possible so that you can lower your risk of any infection.

Before you enter the stall, be sure to wash your hands with washing hands before catheterizationsoap and water. Once you have entered the stall, there probably won’t be a good, clean surface to set your supplies on. You could bring a paper towel from home to set your supplies on. Some people set their supplies on whatever they use to carry them in. You can sit on the toilet or in your wheelchair and prepare things in your lap.

Make sure your hands and the area of insertion are as clean as possible before inserting a catheter. You will have already washed your hands before entering the stall, and you may also want to use an antibacterial wipe to clean the area of insertion.

If you use a closed system or catheter with a kit, you may have disinfecting wipes or swabs included to use. Some people like to apply some antibacterial gel on their hands as an extra precautionary measure. Many people also use gloves, which are often included with catheter kits as well.

lubricating your catheterIf you are using a catheter with a separate lubrication packet, you may face a few more challenges than you might with an advanced product such as pre-lubricated catheters or catheters with insertion supplies.

With time, you will figure out your own preferred method of applying lubricant to your catheter. Some people tear the lubrication packet open at both ends and run the catheter through the packet to lubricate it. For others who have limited dexterity or strength, opening the packet may require scissors, which would need to be carried with the rest of your supplies. You can also open the catheter packaging about a third of the way down and squeeze the lubrication into the packaging and when pulling the catheter out drag it through the lubrication.

If you are using a pre-lubricated catheter, it should be ready to use right out of the packaging. Hydrophilic catheters will require application of water (usually included in a breakable sachet along with the catheter) in order for the lubrication coating to be activated. Some hydrophilic catheter brands include an easy handling sleeve to help you with handling the catheter and guiding it during insertion without actually touching the surface of the catheter tube. Once you've prepped your supplies, sterilized your hands and the area of insertion, and made sure your catheter is lubricated, you are now ready to catheterize. Once you finish, throw away the used contents in the nearest trash receptacle. Never flush a catheter, collection bag, wipes, or other catheterization accessories down a toilet.


Need more information on the entire catheterization process? We offer helpful catheterization instructions, and we can also send you step-by-step instructional videos on DVD and full-color brochures with your order.

Have more questions? Just give us a call or send us a chat online during business hours. Our staff of catheter experts will be ready to answer any catheterization questions you may have or walk you through the cathing process.  


Related Posts:

catheters 101 10 ways to carry catheters discreetly


bill bio pic 180 medical employee
About the Author:

Bill has worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. He loves getting to talk to our customers, sharing his first-hand experiences as a quadriplegic, and helping those with in-depth questions about self-catheterization. He enjoys spending time outdoors, as well as watching and attending motocross events. Learn more about Bill's story.