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Top 10 care tips for using and maintaining your catheter

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Catheters: Top 10 Care Tips


Catheters are thin, flexible tubes used in medical settings to insert into body cavities, ducts, or vessels. Commonly made of rubber, plastic, or silicone, catheters serve various purposes, such as draining urine from the bladder, delivering medications, or measuring blood pressure. They are crucial in medical procedures, providing access for treatments while minimising invasive interventions. Despite their utility, catheters pose infection risks, requiring proper hygiene during insertion and maintenance. Healthcare professionals carefully choose catheter types based on specific patient needs, ensuring effective and safe use in diverse medical scenarios.


Care tips

  1. Proper hygiene: Catheter insertion presents an increased risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Pharmacists should educate patients about the importance of maintaining proper hygiene when using catheters.


  1. Troubleshooting: Patients should be aware of common problems that could arise during catheterization, such as blockages or leaks. Pharmacists can provide information about troubleshooting strategies and when to seek medical attention.


  1. Lubrication: Adequate lubrication is important for successful and comfortable catheter insertion. Patients should be advised to use only water-soluble lubricants, as oil-based lubricants can cause infection.


  1. Comfort: Catheterization can be a painful and uncomfortable process. Pharmacists can recommend over-the-counter pain management options, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.


  1. Frequency: Depending on the patient's condition, they may need to use catheters frequently or only occasionally. Pharmacists should help patients understand how often and for how long they should use a catheter.


  1. Storage: Catheters should be stored in a clean, dry place. Pharmacists can advise patients to keep catheters in a sealed, sterile package until ready to use.


  1. Sterilization: Proper cleaning and sterilization of catheters is crucial for preventing infection. Pharmacists can provide information on how to properly clean and sterilize catheters.


  1. Disposal: Patients should be reminded to properly dispose of used catheters in a way that is safe and hygienic. Pharmacists can suggest proper disposal techniques.


  1. Comfort: Depending on the patient's age, they may be more comfortable using a specific type of catheter. Pharmacists can recommend catheter options that are best suited to the patient's needs.


  1. Follow-up: Patients should follow up with their healthcare provider regularly while using catheters. Pharmacists can encourage patients to keep their follow-up appointments and report any problems or changes in their symptoms.


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Email queries to Find us on Facebook



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