An automobile accident happens when a collision takes place between two cars, a car and a pedestrian, or a stationary object or any other vehicle. The outcome can be devastating to the victims due to a car’s hard metal exterior and the high speeds that they can achieve.

Car crash injury and bladder management

As car crashes can take many forms, the resulting types of injury are also many and varied. It is common, however, for car crash victims to have difficulty urinating owing to these circumstances:

Head or brain injury – Traumatic brain injuries are a common result of car crashes. A traumatic brain injury can occur when the skull strikes the steering wheel or windshield. The sheer force of the impact can cause the brain to collide against the inside surface of the skull. In serious cases, this can lead to extended loss of consciousness or what’s commonly called a coma. An unconscious patient is not able to urinate by themselves.

Spinal injury and paralysis – Injuries to the spine happen to be some of the most commonly experienced in serious car crashes, with spinal cord injury being the most devastating of all. As a result, partial or complete paralysis can occur, which affects a person’s ability to urinate voluntarily.

Lower limb injury – A car crash can cause severe injuries to the lower legs because they are tucked into a relatively small area. In a collision, the compact area surrounding the legs may collapse, causing the feet, ankles, knees, and limbs to be crushed. Such force could cause a slew of lower extremity injuries, among them ligament injuries, lacerations, soft tissue and nerve damage. In serious cases, this may even lead to fractures and amputations, making urination difficult or even dangerous.

Bladder injury – While the bladder is well-protected within the pelvic bone, it is still prone to injury if the body suffers a sufficiently serious impact. Trauma to the kidneys, ruptured bladder and the urinary tract are conditions common in car accident victims. In such cases, a catheter is often part of the treatment to drain the bladder of urine and blood.

One common outcome of all the injuries listed above is a loss of mobility, control or sufficient awareness to be able to use a toilet. Crash victims are either unable to move to relieve themselves or have suffered nerve damage that affects the bladder. Sometimes they lack consciousness and have to have their bladders drained with outside help.

Bladder management with catheters

Depending on the accident victim’s mobility, state of consciousness and degree of muscular control, there are several methods of catheterisation available to them:

  • External catheter – Also known as a condom catheter or a male catheter, it consists of a sheath made out of PVC, latex or silicone, with an adhesive to attach it to the penis, and the standard tube coming out of the other end, connected to a drainage bag.
  • Intermittent catheter – For this method, the user inserts a single-use catheter through the urethra into the bladder to urinate as and when necessary.
  • Indwelling urinary catheter – A catheter is inserted into the bladder through the urethra, with an inflatable balloon end to keep the catheter in position at the bladder, while the outside end of the catheter leads to a drainage bag.
  • Suprapubic catheter – This method involves passing a tube surgically through the abdominal wall directly into the bladder without going through the urethra and needs to be replaced every six to eight weeks.

Risks of urinary tract infection from catheter use

While catheters are invaluable for managing the bladders of injured accident victims, there is a heightened risk of infection to the urinary tract with long term use. As the tube provides bacteria or fungi access to the bladder for extended periods, the microbes can multiply and lead to what is called a Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI). CAUTI is one of the most common infections a person can contract in the hospital, and indwelling catheters are a major cause of CAUTI. The risk of CAUTIs is also present with suprapubic catheter use.

How UroShield can help lower risks of CAUTI

While indwelling and suprapubic catheters are effective means of bladder management and can help car crash victims to urinate easily in the event that they can’t do so themselves, the risk of CAUTIs is present and can be dangerous. Thankfully, there is a non-invasive way to reduce the chance of CAUTIs with UroShield.

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 run 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.

If 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.

To find out more about how UroShield works and what it can do for you, get in touch with us at 020 8773 7844 or fill out our online form.

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