intermittent urinary catheterizationIntermittent catheter definition 

Intermittent urinary catheterization is the insertion of a latex,silicon hollow tube into penis or vagina of a spinal cord injured person passing through urethra into bladder. The drainage tube is to be kept inside till the bladder empties completely. The outer end of the tube must be attached to a urine bag or liquid collection bottle, which is to be emptied in a lavatory.




Merits of intermittent urinary catheterization 

  • Managed control of the neurogenic bladder
  • Having improved bladder capacity and healthier kidney function
  • Less chances of urinary tract infection
  • Un-obstructed sexual intercourse
  • No further need of pampers, condom, Foley or indwelling catheter.

Limitations of intermittent urinary catheterization

  • Repeat the procedure atleast 4-6 times a day.
  • Proper fluid intake to match catheterization timings
  • Drink not more than the bladder holding capacity in between two catheterizations.(you can check the capacity by waiting for the time you first have a leakage after an IC, and subsequently doing IC and draining your bladder into a measuring flask)
  • Do not let your bladder fill above 350 ml, even if its holding capacity is more than that, because it can put excessive damageable pressure on to your bladder walls.
  • Avoid intake prior to bedtime if you do not want interruption in sleep for undertaking catheterization (better option is putting a condom catheter attached to a urine bag to avoid leaking into pants during sleep.
  • Intaking 2.5 litres of fluid a day is sufficient for a healthy body.

Some Precautions of intermittent urinary catheterization

Repeating the procedure 4-6 times a day means it could be traumatic for the urinary canal if not undertaken safely and carefully. Negligence can lead to autonomic dysreflexia!

Things which could lead to injury to the urinary tract are:

  • Using large sized drainage tube
  • Excessive force during catheterization of bladder
  • Using non flexible catheters
  • Insufficient lubrication of the drainage tube

Tips to clean the intermittent urinary catheter for re-use

  • Dip all the used catheters into a bucket of lime and sterile solution.
  •  Let the catheters remain inside for an hour or two.
  • Afterwards wash the catheters/ drainage tubes with the running warm water tap.

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