CONTINENCE CARE

Long Term vs Intermittent Catheters

CONTINENCE CARE

Long Term vs Intermittent Catheters

Last updated 01/06/20

If your doctor has discussed catheterisation with you, you’ll most likely have questions. One of the most common to ask at this early stage is what catheterisation will look in your life.

Catheterisation for people with urinary incontinence issues normally takes one of two forms:

  1. Long-term or indwelling catheterisation – in which the catheter is left in for an extended period of time between and across urinations, and
  2. Intermittent catheterisation – in which the catheter is inserted and removed only for the duration of the urination, between which it is either cleaned, stored and reused, or replaced.

ConvaTec has prepared this article addressing a few questions around the difference between these two forms of catheterisation. Read on and gain a fuller understanding of this common medical procedure.

 

Which catheter best suits me?

Which catheter you use will be determined by your healthcare professional. Long-term catheters and intermittent catheters are preferred for different people in different scenarios. Doctors may recommend regular use of long-term catheters in response to a number of indications, such as chronic urethral obstruction, chronic urinary retention, or other conditions meaning that intermittent catheterisation is either infeasible or unsuccessful.[1] Long-term catheters may also be recommended for people with impaired upper extremity or reduced overall functionality capacity.[2] For people not presenting with these or similar specific indications, doctors will most likely at least initially attempt intermittent catheterisation before recommending long-term catheterisation.[3]

 

What are the risks of long-term and intermittent catheterisation?

Whatever form of catheterisation you practice, your primary risk is contracting a urinary tract infection.[4] As a catheter remains in the body, microorganisms including bacteria build up on the surface of the device. These microorganisms can then be brought into the body by moving down the surface of the catheter into the urethra, causing an infection.[5]

 

Would I ever need to switch from one to the other?

Your doctor will be able to recommend which is the most appropriate form of catheterisation for you, but as previously stated, long-term catheterisation will often only be used when specific indications are present. For example, those undergoing selected surgical procedures may use a long-term catheter while recovering in hospital[6] before transitioning to intermittent catheterisation after discharge when the indication is no longer applicable. Discuss your needs with your healthcare professional to determine which form of catheterisation is right for you.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Gould, C.V., Umscheid, C.A., Agarwal, R.K., Kuntz, G., Pegues, D.A. and Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 2010. Guideline for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections 2009. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 31(4), pp.319-326.

[2] Murphy, S., 2019. Intermittent vs. Indwelling Urinary Catheterization: Factors to Consider for Optimizing Patient Success. Urology. https://www.clinicalcorrelations.org/2019/10/29/intermittent-vs-indwelling-urinary-catheterization-factors-to-consider-for-optimizing-patient-success/

[3] Murphy, S., 2019. Intermittent vs. Indwelling Urinary Catheterization: Factors to Consider for Optimizing Patient Success. Urology. https://www.clinicalcorrelations.org/2019/10/29/intermittent-vs-indwelling-urinary-catheterization-factors-to-consider-for-optimizing-patient-success/

[4] Nicolle, L.E., 2014. Catheter associated urinary tract infections. Antimicrobial resistance and infection control, 3(1), p.23.

[5] Nicolle, L.E., 2014. Catheter associated urinary tract infections. Antimicrobial resistance and infection control, 3(1), p.23.

[6] Gould, C.V., Umscheid, C.A., Agarwal, R.K., Kuntz, G., Pegues, D.A. and Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 2010. Guideline for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections 2009. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 31(4), pp.319-326.

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