Pt's who self catherize and hosptialzation

Nurses General Nursing


This has happened a couple times the past few weeks in our unit and everyone seems to have a different answer. So, I thought I would post the question here to see what my sibs think...Here is the question/problem:

A person self catherizes at home because for whatever reason he/she can't void on their own. That person comes to the hospital and admitted for some reason. I know that most people who self catherize at home use the same red rubber straight cath multiple times before getting a new one. The theory is when they are in their own home their body "gets use to" their home environment. Now this pt is in the hospital and needs cathed several times daily. Do you get a new straight cath everytime they need to cath (up to 4 or 5 days daily), let them use the same one over and over like they do at home, or do you anchor a foley? If the pt is in the hospital for several days, the costs of a new cath every time would get expensive. And with the high risk of an UTI with an anchored foley, that can get expensive for the pt and cause a lot of discomfort. So, what do you do? :confused:


1 Article; 2,334 Posts

We always got them a supply of the short clear "self caths" and had them use a new one each time...cheaper than the red latex[\I] straight caths.

Another option is for them to wash in soap & water and keep them in a coverer container of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts sterile water in the pts room and NOBODY but the patient puts their hands in it.


39 Posts

Every time you introduce an object from out side->into moist, warm (bacteria-frendly : growth medium) outside body 'germs' & other contaminats can & will hitch a ride. I would tell pt to buy a large amount to save $$$, because once used, cath would no longer be sterile & therefore it is not possible to encourage re-use when not following established tx procedures. He'll keep traumatizing the sphinter opening & it will lose "tone" I would say no!!!!!!!

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I know the agency I left had the policy for clean technique and cleansing of the reusual caths. WE did much research and found the infection rate was the same whether they bought new, which medicaid covers more than medicare for cath, or used the same cleansed one. What does you policy say to do?


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