There are medical conditions that call for the use of a urinary catheter to drain urine from one’s bladder. Living with a condition like urinary incontinence, urinary retention and enlarged prostate are among the most common reasons why a male patient would need to have a catheter.
As we have explained in this post “Which catheter should I choose?”, there are four types of catheters available for male patients: external catheter, intermittent catheter, indwelling catheter and suprapubic catheter. Which one you use will be based on your specific medical need and your medical provider will advise which one is best for you.
If this is your first time getting a catheter, you may feel it’s slightly uncomfortable or inconvenient at first, but most likely you will feel liberated after you are accustomed to it, as the catheter will greatly help with bladder management. Our post “Overcoming the learning curves that come with a catheter” is packed with practical tips that you may find helpful.
There are many situations where the patient requires the help of a nurse or caregiver to fit a catheter. These may involve cases where the patient suffers from prolonged unconsciousness, severe injury or extensive paralysis. More common, in cases where UroShield is applicable, a patient may attend a clinic to have an indwelling catheter fitted, which may then be in place for quite some time. As the procedure is fairly invasive and involves intimate parts of the anatomy, it is important to observe certain protocols and correct steps when a caregiver inserts the catheter.
Catheterising a male patient – what to expect
If the patient is conscious and aware of his surroundings, the caregiver should begin with a self-introduction to the patient and verify his or her identity. Explain what you are going to do and obtain their consent. A chaperone may be required to be present as circumstances dictate.
The internet is flooded with many methods pertaining to male catheterisation. The following is a typical procedure followed by clinics and hospitals:
- You’ll be placed on your back, facing up with legs extended and flat on the bed.
- The caregiver will cover you using the sterile drapes provided. A sterile drape will go under your buttocks and the holed drape over the penis.
- A water-soluble lubricant will be applied to the tip of the catheter.
- The caregiver will grasp the penis just below the glans and hold it upright.
- Uncircumcised patients should expect their foreskin to be retracted. The foreskin will be restored to its original position after the procedure.
- The glans will be cleansed using a common antiseptic.
- A drainage basin containing the catheter will be placed on, or next to the thighs.
- The caregiver will gently straighten and stretch the penis and lift it to an angle of 60-90 degrees. They will use the syringe of medical lubricant to anaesthetise the urinary canal, so as to minimise any discomfort.
- Expect the caregiver to insert the lubricated tip of the catheter into the urinary meatus (the urethral opening). They will continue to push in the catheter completely until only the inflation and drainage ports are exposed and urine flows. This is to ensure proper placement of the catheter in the bladder, and to prevent urethral injuries and hematuria (blood in the urine) that result when the Foley catheter balloon is incorrectly inflated in the urethra.
- If you feel resistance as the caregiver inserts the catheter, they should pause for 10-20 seconds. You’ll be instructed to breathe deeply and evenly, then as you exhale the caregiver will gently push. If they still meet resistance, they should stop the procedure and repeat the above steps.
- The caregiver will attach the syringe with the sterile water and inflate the balloon.
- The catheter will be pulled back until the balloon engages the bladder neck.
- The caregiver will attach the urinary drainage bag and position it below the bladder level. Expect the catheter to be secured to the thigh with adhesive tape or a securing device.
- The drainage bag should be attached to the bed frame.
- To finalise the procedure, the caregiver should complete the sticker on the outside of the catheter pack and put it into the patient’s notes.
Look out for catheter-associated issues
While using a catheter can greatly help with bladder management, it does come with some risk including Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) – more common with long-term, indwelling catheters, tissues damage and blockage. In addition, you may suffer from pain and discomfort, and being allergic to latex can also compound the problem further. Call your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- You have cloudy urine or blood in your urine.
- The urine has a strong odour.
- You have sores or skin rash.
- The penis is painful.
- Fever and/or chill.
- Pain in your lower back or stomach.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is fairly common, particularly among patients fitted with an indwelling catheter or suprapubic catheter. CAUTI calls for prompt treatment because if it is left untreated, it can lead to a kidney infection. If CAUTI has been troubling you, the good news is, UroShield can help lower the risks of CAUTI.
UroShield can mitigate the risk of CAUTI
Recommended by leading UK urologists, UroShield is a compact external medical device that generates low-frequency, low-intensity ultrasound waves to prevent bacterial biofilm from forming on catheters. The action of the ultrasonic waves runs along the full length of the catheter, up into the balloon and down into the bag, both on the outside and inside surfaces of the catheter. The ultrasound gently vibrates the catheter to stop the bacteria from adhering to the catheter and forming the biofilm – preventing infections from developing.
In the event that biofilm is present, UroShield helps to break up the protective layer surrounding the biofilm which is normally impenetrable to antibiotics, allowing it access to the bacteria and curing the infection. The vibrations also prevent catheter encrustation and blockage, caused by crystalline deposits of mineral salts in the urine. UroShield also helps to reduce catheter-associated bladder spasms and pain and is effective for any kind of catheter, both urethral and suprapubic.
Click on the link to find out more about how UroShield works. Additionally, this post on ‘Overcoming the learning curves that come with a catheter’ is also informative.
In our clinical studies, patients who used UroShield have reported great benefits including:
- No or reduced infection rates
- No or reduced catheter blockage
- No or reduced catheter-related bladder spasms
- No or reduced catheter-related pain
- Increased quality of life
- More energy and feeling generally better
If you would like to know more about UroShield, call us on 020 8773 7844 or fill out our Online Form.
This post is not health advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current healthcare issues.