When it comes to intermittent self-catheterization, many people are somewhat in the dark as to whether they should be using disposable or one-time use catheters versus reusable ones. Is there a quality difference between the types? Is it expensive to use disposable catheters? Does using reusable catheters lead to more frequent urinary tract infections than disposable ones?
Quality of the Catheters from AllegroMedical.com
One question that comes up frequently is the quality of the disposable variety. The fact is, disposable catheters are exactly the same as the reusable variety; there is no difference whatsoever in construction. The only real difference between a disposable and reusable catheter is what the patient does with it afterwards. A reusable catheter must be sterilized after each use.
There are a few types of catheters that are not meant to be reused, however. The hydrophilic catheter, for instance, is packaged with either lubricating jelly or sterile water already inside the packaging. Since the lubricant is already inside the package, it is meant to be used only one time.
Other catheters are manufactured with an antibacterial coating, which is not reusable, therefore the catheter is not meant for multiple uses. Closed system catheters are also not meant to be reused, as the catheter is pre-lubricated and packaged inside the drainage bag. This system is designed to help reduce urinary tract infections, and reusing it would defeat the purpose.
Cost of Disposable Catheters from AllegroMedical.com
Catheters generally cost under a dollar each, so for many people using disposable ones is not a significant financial burden, as the cost of antibiotics to treat urinary infections can also be quite high, not to mention the physical discomfort and health hazards. As of 2008, Medicare amended their policies to cover patients for up to 200 catheters per month, which prompted most insurance companies to make a similar change. Disposable catheters are now an affordable option for most catheter users.
Complications of Catheter Use
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria getting into the urinary tract, usually sneaking a ride into the urethra on a catheter that has touched the skin or not been properly sterilized. Once inside the bladder, bacteria will grow and multiply in the urine if it remains in the bladder more than four to six hours.
Voiding the bladder at least once every six hours and drinking plenty of fluids, along with careful hand washing before catheterization will help cut down on urinary tract infections. Those suffering from frequent infections, however, would be well advised to switch to disposable catheters, particularly those specially designed for the purpose of reducing infection rates.
Purchasing Disposable Catheters from AllegroMedical.com
AllegroMedical.com has a large selection of disposable catheters in many different makes and models, and from all the reputable manufacturers. One popular product is the Rochester Antibacterial Personal Intermittent Catheter, a 6-inch female catheter featuring a soft outer silicone layer with an antibacterial coating that has proven to be effective in reducing occurrence of urinary tract infections.
Customers shopping for catheters from AllegroMedical.com can read product reviews about each brand of catheter, including a five star rating system, and also post questions in the question and answer section to be addressed by other catheter users. The store’s website is a useful source of information for patients new to self-catheterization, as many of Allegro Medical’s clients are long-time customers.
Intermittent self-catheterization can be quite a difficult challenge at first, and lead to complications and infections. Fortunately, the technology for manufacturing catheters is improving, along with the common sense of insurance companies and Medicare to help reduce many of these complications. In addition, thanks to websites like AllegroMedical.com, new catheter users have somewhere to find advice and information about catheter use and product selection. Patients have been shopping for catheters from AllegroMedical.com at discounted prices since 1996.