Tips to Help Reduce Urinary Tract Infections
Those who use catheters are susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) but intermittent catheterization should help most individuals avoid or reduce UTIs, according to Cheryl Hutton, a wound, ostomy and continence nurse (WOC nurse) with CHC Solutions, Inc.
Here are some helpful tips on how to help avoid UTIs.
First, learn to catheterize correctly, going over the correct process with a physician or healthcare professional, Hutton said.
When possible, try to use insertion kits, which help maintain a sterile environment. These kits often include items like wipes and non-latex gloves.
Never reuse single-use catheters, Hutton cautioned.
“In the past physicians recommended patients to wash and reuse every catheter – but patients should not do this,” Hutton said. “In recent years, research has shown that using a single catheter one time, then throwing it away, can lead to reduced UTIs.”
Finally, some healthcare professional may ask a patient to use a closed-system catheter with a protective tip, through which the catheter is placed into the urethra when a patient catheterizes.
“The first few millimeters in the urethra often are the most contaminated with bacteria,” Hutton said. “Using a protective tip is another way of helping reduce the risk of UTIs.”
*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.