The history of urinary catheters extends to ancient China, Egypt and the Roman Empire, when materials such as bronze or gold were used to form rigid tubes. By the 18th century, new designs conformed more closely to the urethra and provided lubrication for insertion. Vulcanized red rubber and single-eyed catheters appeared in the 19th century, and by the 20th and 21st centuries new materials such as latex, synthetic rubber and silicone offered solutions for longer-term use. Newer designs (such as the Foley catheter) brought greater comfort.
Intermittent catheterization is recommended to obtain a sterile urine specimen, to relieve urinary retention, for urologic surgery or surgery on contiguous structures, for critically ill patients requiring accurate measurement of intake and output, and for temporary obstruction of the bladder opening due to injury.
Hydrophilic-coated catheters are characterized by having a layer of polymer coating that is bound to the catheter surface. The polymer absorbs and binds water to the catheter, resulting in a thick, smooth and slippery surface. The coating layer remains intact upon introduction into the urethra and ensures lubrication of the urethra in its entire length. Those who experience pain, pressure or discomfort using catheters should consider hydrophilic catheters as a viable solution.
Self-contained, intermittent catheter system, fully protected within its own closed sterile field. Significantly reduces the risk of infection and is especially useful for those in a wheel chair and for those with spina bifida. A closed system catheter is effective for those with limited dexterity, to manage incontinence with complete confidence.
Indwelling urinary catheters are used in the care of more than five million patients per year. Prevalence rates range from 4% in home care to 25% in acute care.Over the past 65 years, the indwelling urinary catheter has become one of the most commonly used medical devices in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and the home. Approximately five million patients are treated with indwelling catheters per year.