What is Clean Catheter Use?


What is Clean Catheter Use?

Last updated 01/06/20

Whether you’ve just started or have been doing it for years, ensuring that you’re using the correct technique can go a long way to making catheterisation just another seamless part of your day. Not using the right technique can cause problems – chiefly urinary tract infections (UTIs) – meaning that knowing and practicing the safest, most hygienic technique is vital for anyone required to catheterise.


How is it different from sterile catheter use?

Clean catheterisation differs from sterile catheterisation in the procedures used when handling or inserting the catheter. Under sterile catheterisation rules, a new sterile catheterisation kit is used for each catheterisation, with care taken to avoid contamination of the catheter such as the use of sterile gloves and cleaning of the opening of the urethra. Under clean catheterisation rules, the same catheterisation kit is used for all catheterisations within a 24-hour period before being replaced. [1] In between uses, no-touch catheterisation would be observed, as well the use of cleaning wipes and sterile gloves.


Is clean catheterisation as safe as sterile catheterisation?

A variety of studies indicate that rates of infection between sterile and clean catheter were similar.[2] What this means is that the risk of UTI from clean catheterisation was not significantly higher than that of sterile catheterisation, making it an affordable, safe and effective alternative to purchasing a new catheter for every new catheterisation.


What is the no-touch technique?

No-touch catheterisation is a variation on clean catheterisation that seeks to make the process more – but not entirely – sterile, reducing the risk of infection.[3] No-touch catheterisation requires the use of a specialised handling strip to ensure that at no point does the patient’s skin come in direct contact with the section of the catheter to be inserted. Studies have shown that the no-touch technique provides a significant benefit in reducing the potential for contamination of an intermittent catheter.[4]

If you’d like to know more about how you could make catheterisation safer and easier for yourself, speak to your healthcare professional or order a sample from the GentleCath™ range today.





[1] Beauchemin L, Newman DK, Le Danseur M, et al.  (2018). Best Practices For Clean Intermittent Catheterization. Nursing2018 , 48 , 9

[2] Duffy, L.M., Cleary, J., Ahern, S., Kuskowski, M.A., West, M., Wheeler, L. and Mortimer, J.A., 1995. Clean intermittent catheterization: Safe, cost‐effective bladder management for male residents of VA nursing homes. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 43(8), pp.865-870.


[4] Hudson, E. and Murahata, R.I., 2005. The ‘no-touch’method of intermittent urinary catheter insertion: can it reduce the risk of bacteria entering the bladder?. Spinal Cord, 43(10), pp.611-614.