While it is true that single-use intermittent catheters minimize the risk of infections, blockages, leaks, and other problems that you probably want to prevent compared to indwelling catheters; you have to take some precautions to completely protect yourself and avoid any health risks related to the catheterization procedure, and that’s why we’re giving you a list of things we recommend you to keep in mind before using your IC.
- Wash Your Hands Thoroughly:
Simple and easy to remember, this golden hygiene rule is one of the first things we get taught when we are kids before doing a vast amount of activities, and (hopefully) most of us have been following it, but, when it comes to catheterization, it gets more complicated than just “cleaning your hands because you don’t want them to be dirty before taking food into your mouth”. Since you are introducing a foreign object into your genital area, a delicate part of our body that gets easily infected keeping our hands clean and sterilized can prevent bacteria from entering and causing painful and problematic infections that could complicate things further.
2. Clean Your Genital Area:
Well, this one is, in a sense an extension of the last point, but it should be noted that there’s a specific way to clean your genital area before proceeding with the catheter: clean it from the back to the front of the zone, applying water and soap thoroughly, before drying the area with a paper towel. Make sure you don’t anything but your catheter after washing your hands too.
As a side note: Men should be especially careful with the tip of their penis when cleaning before the insertion.
3. Make Sure That You Completely Emptied Your Bladder:
This one maybe seems like a no-brainer, but we insist: you should always make sure that your bladder is completely empty, after it, you can slowly remove the catheter, measure, and record the contents of the bag before emptying it! This will help you have a reference on how much urine should come out on average so you can keep everything inside clean.
4. If Applicable, Wash Your Equipment Properly After Each Use:
Immediately after each use, clean the catheter and urine collection device with mild soap and hot water. Rinse and let the air dry the materials. Keep the products in a dry, clean container.
Although it may seem complicated at first, Intermittent Catheterization is a fairly simple method of cathing that can even be done by children without any issues, it just has to be done with proper care and always taking hygiene into account.
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