Reusing things is a great way to save money. However, this principle doesn’t apply to all areas, especially to medical devices like catheters. According to NCBI, patients should never attempt to wash and reuse a catheter. Instead, they should always ensure that their catheter is sterile. While there have been attempts to develop reusable catheters, there’s no evidence that shows that multiple-use catheters are safe compared to single-use devices. Additionally, the FDA doesn’t approve cleaning and reusing of sterile catheters.
Using an intermittent catheter will help you to empty your bladder quickly. There are different types of these catheters, and depending on your condition, you can choose the material, length, size, and tip style of the catheter you need. Most intermittent catheters come pre-lubricated and activated with saline or sterile water. However, for others, you may have to use lubricating jelly for easy insertion.
Risk of Reusing Intermittent Catheters
Disposable catheters are easy to self-catheterize, but they collect blood, tissue, and other organic matter. Therefore, cleaning this residue at home is an impossible task. By reusing such a catheter, you risk infecting yourself with bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms. Always wash your hands and wear gloves before changing your catheter.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
UTIs are painful and affect many people. Reusing catheters increases the risk of you contracting UTIs. In a recent study, researchers tried to use an antibacterial wash to clean used catheters, and they discovered that 67% of the catheters failed to sanitize. Therefore, regardless of the method you use to clean a used catheter, pathogens will remain behind, and they can cause infections.
Signs of UTIs
- High temperature
- Bloody, cloudy, and smelly urine
- Pain when urinating
- Increased urge to go to the restroom
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty removing or inserting the catheter
Ensure that you schedule a visit to your physician if you experience any of the above symptoms before they progress. When left untreated, the infection can spread upwards to your kidney. Kidney infections are dangerous and can be life-threatening. This is why you should not only treat the UTI but also practice proper cathing hygiene to prevent reinfection.
Get Sterile Catheters
If you use an intermittent catheter, then you will need to cath after every 6 hours. While you may find it more cost-effective to reuse your catheter, keep in mind that they are designed for single use. Therefore, reusing them will cost you more in hospital bills in case you get an infection. To get the right catheter, visit Medical Supply Depot today and browse a variety of catheters. If you have any concerns, call(800) 965-7496, and speak to one of our knowledgeable catheter specialists.