With proper catheter care you can prevent an infection
Anyone who uses a catheter on a constant or semi-constant basis will need to know the best way to care for it. Catheter care is not something which is necessarily easy – after a while people can get used to it and will learn the best ways of doing it, but it certainly is not something to become complacent about – a catheter that is not kept properly can lead to using an unsanitary one which could result in a urinary tract infection.
In general though, it is only those who use intermittent, or a long-term catheter that really need to worry about catheter care. Even then to some extent it is just a matter of keeping it clean and inspecting it for any problems before it is to be used. What you really need to ensure is that your catheter is kept free of any contaminants that result in a catheter to being sterile– not being able to use your catheter for any period of time can be extremely difficult for those who are in constant need of it.
If there is a problem that goes under your radar then this can be a huge problem later on – anything small that is left will undoubtedly become far bigger, so it is better to deal with a small problem rather than a potentially huge one later. If there is any doubt about a catheter being dirty it is best to not use it at all. This is why Medicare now allows up to 200 catheters a month so that the same catheter should never be used twice. It also allows having a few spares for just the case of one not being sterile to use.
Catheter care does require some thought to it though. To begin with it can seem incredibly hard as you really do need to pay a huge amount of attention to detail. Even the smallest cut or crack in the catheter itself can lead to a problem. Caring for your catheter in this way can seem burdensome, but it is far better than the alternative of using a bad one and developing a urinary tract infection.
If you have any doubt as to how best to look after your catheter then you really need to speak to a professional – even if it is not a major problem in your eyes it is always best to be on top of everything when it comes to its care. Without fully knowing how to keep your catheter in good condition you may end up putting your health at risk.
So take your time to research how best to care for your individual catheter – no two people are the same so you will need to know how to catheterize in a save and hygienic way. Do not be afraid of asking for help if you need it – your doctor or healthcare professional wants what is best for you, and they cannot help you if they don’t know that you need it.