UTIs, also referred to as Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) are one of the most frequent types of infections for catheter users. CAUTIs occur when bacteria is introduced to the urethra via a catheter. That bacteria can travel to the bladder or the kidneys, causing further complications or infection.
As an intermittent catheter user, there is a lot you can do to help minimize the risk of developing CAUTIs, so we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you prevent infection.
Hygiene is Key
It sounds simple, but proper hygiene is the most important factor when preventing CAUTIs. This includes proper handwashing, using non-sterile gloves, having a clean self-cath area, and never reusing a catheter.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking a lot of water will dilute your urine, cleansing the bladder and the urethra before an infection can occur. If you suffer from recurrent UTIs, aim to increase your water intake by at least 1 ½ liters daily. Be mindful that you may have to increase how often you self-catheterize when you increase your fluid intake.
Empty your Bladder Completely and Often
Allowing excess urine to sit in your bladder for too long is often a cause of infection. Following a self-cath routine and emptying your bladder completely at regular intervals helps flush out harmful bacteria and helps prevent CAUTIs.
Perfect Your Technique
When self-catheterizing, it is important to follow the technique your doctor or nurse showed you to ensure correct self-catheterization technique. Perfecting your self-catheterization technique helps to minimize the risk of CAUTIs because even the smallest amount of bacteria can cause an infection.
If you are having trouble perfecting your technique, consult your doctor.
Use a Closed System Catheter
For intermittent catheter users who are prone to contracting CAUTIs, we recommend using TruCath Closed System Catheters to help prevent infections. Closed system catheters are touch-free, all-in-one catheter systems that include a pre-lubricated catheter with an attached collection bag. Closed system catheters feature an introducer tip that shields the catheter from bacteria at the beginning of the urethra where most bacteria is concentrated, thus helping to prevent CAUTIs.
These are tips only and not a substitute for medical advice.
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