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Urinary catheters :Do's and don'ts

It is a form of drain which Can be inserted transurethrally or suprapubically

*Commonly used to:

1- Alleviate or prevent urinary retention

2- Monitor urine output

* Catheters vary by:

o The material from which they are made (latex, plastic, silastic, teflon-coated)

o The length of the catheter (38 cm 'male' or '22 cm 'female')

o The diameter of the catheter (10 Fr to 24 Fr)

o The number of channels (two or three)

o The size of the balloon ( 5ml to 30 ml)

o The shape of the tip

* Special catheters exist such as:

  • Gibbon catheters
  • Nelaton catheters
  • Tiemann catheters
  • Malecot catheters

Complications :

* Paraphimosis

* Blockage

* By-passing

* Infection

* Failure of balloon to deflate

* Urethral strictures

Do's and don'ts of urinary catheters

* Choose an appropriate sized catheter

* Insert using an aseptic technique

* Never insert using force

* Do not inflate the balloon until urine has been seen coming from the catheter

* Record the residual volume

* Do not use a catheter introducer unless you have been trained in its use

* If difficulty is encountered inserting a urinary catheter consider a suprapubic

* Remove at the earliest possibility

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