Complications That Arise From the Use of a Urethral Catheter

The reasons why a person may need a urethral catheter vary.  Complications from the use of a urethral catheter could be because of age, permanent injury, severe illness or a variety of other reasons. A catheter is an incredible advancement in medical science that saves a lot of us from public shame or kidney damage. However, its use does not lack some challenges. Below are some complications of using a urethral catheter.

1. It could increase your chances of contracting a UTI

UTI represents Urinary Tract Infection. In addition to being a doorway for your urine to pass out of your body, the catheter can be an entrance for bacteria into your body. The bacteria can infect your urethra, bladder, ureters and in some cases, your kidney.

2. Bacteriuria

A medical term for the bacteria presents in the urine. The condition is common in people who have had the catheter for 2 to 10 days. There is a significant amount of bacteria that dwell on the urethra. These organisms could be introduced into the bladder during the insertion of the catheter resulting in bacteriuria.

3. Infection of the blood

It usually occurs in patients who require long-term catheterization. When the requirement leads to the insertion of a larger catheter, it could result in damage to the bladder walls. The damage occurs when the larger catheter, which is not as soft as the smaller ones, scrapes or punctures the bladder. The bacteria that are introduced into the bladder by the catheter then gain access to the blood through the wound. Horrible as it may sound, the cases of Sepsis, infection of the blood, are rare.

4. Urethral injury

Damage to the urethra is commonly caused by trauma especially if the correct procedure is not followed during the insertion of the catheter. It could also result from the catheter being inserted forcefully. While catheterization is a very common procedure, about 10-30 percent of them result in urethral trauma. That is a very high percentage.

5. Blood in the urine

The presence of blood in the urine is another common occurrence. The blood is as a result of the irritation caused by the catheter on the ureters. The blood could also be a symptom of bacterial infection. The best action to take if you notice blood in your urine after catheterization is to consult your doctor.

6. Latex allergy

A majority of catheters are made from latex, a material which some of us are allergic to. If a latex catheter is inserted into a person who is allergic to latex, it could do more harm than good. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor about any allergies before the commencement of the procedure.

7. Cystitis

Cystitis is a medical term for inflammation of the bladder. It is caused by:

• Bacteria that may be introduced into the bladder during the insertion of the catheter
• Urinary tract infection
• Certain drugs
• Long-term use of a urinary catheter

8. Cancer of the bladder

It could occur in patients who have had indwelling catheters for extended periods.

While catheters may save us numerous incidents and prolonged visits to the hospital, they also have their downsides. By carefully examining the complications of using a urethral catheter, you can be able to determine if you need one or not.

Towson Medical Equipment is a DME store that is centrally located within Montgomery County and Baltimore serving Maryland, DC and Virginia. We carry a variety of DME products including catheter supplies.  We are also providers for most local insurances and we provide FREE Monthly Delivery of your items.  Call us today at 410-882-4005.

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