A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects your urinary system; your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Normally, bacteria that enters the urinary tract is attacked by the body’s natural defenses and quickly removes the bacteria, but sometimes a bacteria may overcome these defenses and develop into an infection. Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) are one of the most frequent types of infections. We have compiled a list of seven ways to help you maintain a healthy urinary tract system that could help prevent urinary tract infections-
Do NOT reuse your catheters!
The FDA recommends that patients do not reuse their catheters as this increases the risk for urinary tract infections. The FDA considers ALL urinary catheters as single-use only and recommends that catheter patients use a new catheter every time that they catheterize. Medicare and most private insurances now cover up to 200 catheters per month.
Create a Sterile Environment with a Closed System.
Closed systems have an insertion tip safety feature that allows for the entire catheterization process to be sterile. The insertion tip allows the catheter to bypass the bacteria located in the surface of the urethra rather than pushing it in further during the insertion of the catheter. Closed systems are enclosed in a bag so you never have to touch the actual catheter, lowering your risk for an infection. If you have recurring UTI’s, you may qualify for a Closed System catheter or Sterile Kits. This will allow you to catheterize in a sterile environment and reduce your risk of further infection.
Keep your genitalia clean.
Males should keep the tip of their penis clean (especially if they are not circumcised). The foreskin traps bacteria which may get into the urinary tract and develop an infection. Females should wipe from front to back after using the restroom. Doing so helps prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus into the urinary tract.
Change feminine products often.
Females should always change their feminine products frequently. This will help prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract which could cause an infection.
Empty your bladder.
Before removing the catheter during self-catheterization, be sure to empty the bladder as much as possible.
Drink plenty of water.
Water helps flush bacteria that may be present in your urinary tract, preventing it from developing an infection.
Do it the right way!
Take a moment to learn the appropriate way to self-catheterize. Following the correct procedure will help you prevent UTI’s and avoid any irritation that can occur when cathing incorrectly. At Strive Medical, we have a team of Patient Care Coordinators and Medical Supply Specialists that can help you through the entire process. We can also provide you with a Self-Catheterization Guide that demonstrates the correct process for self-catheterization.