5 Ways to Help Reduce UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect millions of people each year and rank as the second most common type of body infection. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are the most common nosocomial (acute care and extended care facilities) infection. We are passionate about helping people stay healthy and become independent so we’ve compiled a list that may help you reduce or even eliminate your urinary tract infections as it has for our Founder, Todd Brown and many of our urinary catheter customers.

1. Don’t reuse catheters.

While washing and reusing catheters may work for some, many people experience recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). Studies show that sterile use (using a urinary catheter one time and disposing of it) can reduce urinary tract infections. Most major insurance companies including Medicare, Medicaids, and even VA cover sterile, single-use catheters. Reusing catheters can often leads to infections which can cost insurance companies millions of dollars annually. The FDA guidelines state that all urinary catheters are to be considered single-use only devices. You can find these guidelines stamped on any intermittent catheter packaging.

2. Hydrophilic catheters may help reduce infection.

Hydrophilic catheters help you avoid discomfort and infection by reducing friction and trauma to the urethra. Unlike traditional catheters, hydrophilic catheters have a surface that stays smooth and slippery all the way from insertion to final withdrawal, due to a coating of lubrication that is bound to the catheter surface and activated by water. Also, since the catheter’s pre-lubricated coating is activated by sterile water, there is no need to touch it, lessening the risk of contamination by stray bacteria or pathogens that might be on your hands.

3. Use a catheter with an introducer tip, such as a closed system catheter.

Most closed systems have an added safety feature called an introducer or insertion tip. The introducer tip allows the pre-lubricated urinary catheter to bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria located in the first few millimeters of the urethra, rather than pushing that bacteria further into the urethra during insertion. This will help fight against infections.

4. Learn the correct way to catheterize.

Learning how to catheterize correctly can help you avoid irritation and infections that can occur when an incorrect technique is performed. 180 Medical is here to help you through the process. We have our own How to Catheterize DVD and instructional How to Catheterize booklets that we can send along with your shipment. Also, there are employees on staff who are catheter users that understand what you’re going through and are available to speak to you.

5. Use insertion supplies.

Insertion supplies are conveniently packaged alongside the urinary catheter in most closed system kits, many hydrophilic catheters, and some intermittent catheters to help create a sterile environment. Insertion supplies typically include sterile gloves, benzalkonium chloride wipes, collection bag, and an underpad.



“Hydrophilic-Coated Catheters Shown To Reduce Urethral Microtrauma When Used For Clean Intermittent Catheterization.” UroToday.

Bennett, CJ, MN Young, SS Razi, R. Adkins, F. Diaz, and A. McCrary. “The Effect of Urethral Introducer Tip Catheters on the Incidence of Urinary Tract Infection Outcomes in Spinal Cord Injured Patients.” J Urol. Aug. 1997.

The information that appears on the Site is presented in summary form only and is intended to provide general consumer understanding of health care topics. The information should not be used in place of a visit, call or consultation with a physician or other healthcare provider.  People using information accessed through the Site should also research original sources of authority, including with your physician or another healthcare provider. Should you have any health care-related questions, please call or visit your physician or another healthcare provider.

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