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Thread: What to do with urinary catheterization when i want to travel or on an airplane?

  1. #11
    I dealt with it just like AbleChef on a transatlantic flight. When the flight was quiet and the lights turned down I just put a blanket over me and took care of business into the ziploc bag I use for a travel kit, then put it all in a paper bag and got rid of it in the trash. No problem with that at all.

  2. #12
    There is no way I could do that in a sterile, safe manner under those conditions.

    Are there any airplanes that have true wheelchair accessible bathrooms?

  3. #13
    Not unless you can stand to transfer. Most men can do this easily in their seat, and use clean (not sterile) technique. If you insist upon using sterile technique, then invest in some of the touchless type catheter-in-a-bag catheters which are very easy to use this way.

    (KLD)

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2011
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    I'm with Donno and TheAbleChef.

    Have not traveled in a long time. Back in the day, right when getting on the plane, I would ask the stewardess for an empty one liter bottle (or two if the flight in long enough) when one became available after the drink service. And a blanket. I drank normal amounts, and cathed at normal intervals. Carry the bottles out with me to the nearest bathroom after landing. Never had any problems.

    Before this idea came to me, I would try my best at empty intestine, get very dehydrated, and not drink in the plane. This combination, plus a few irresistible salty nuts and cheese in Finn Air first class resulted in terrible diarrhea over Greenland on a flight from San Francisco to Helsinki. It was bad. When we were landing, I suggested that instead of an aisle chair, they carry me and my cushion off as a unit. Four the the largest guys I have every seen showed up from the cargo handling unit to carry all 130 pounds of me to my chair. Love the Finns.

    On the KY jelly for the flight, you can get Surgilube in 3 gm foilpacs. I have not done any long distance flights for a long time, but hard to imagine these would cause problems is packed with your catheters. Also, KY used to come in a small sample or travel size at the local drugstore.

    Have a great trip.
    T4 complete, 150 ft fall, 1966. Completely fused hips, partially fused knees and spine, heterotopic ossification. Unsuccessful DREZ surgery about 1990. Successful bladder augmentation using small intestine about 1992. Normal SCI IC UTI problems culminating in a hospital stay in 2001. No antibiotics or doctor visits for UTI since 2001: d-mannose. Your mileage may vary.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Not unless you can stand to transfer. Most men can do this easily in their seat, and use clean (not sterile) technique. If you insist upon using sterile technique, then invest in some of the touchless type catheter-in-a-bag catheters which are very easy to use this way.

    (KLD)
    I couldn't do this on a public airplane sitting next to some stranger. And no I cannot stand.

    In any case, how do those permanent or long-term catheters work exactly? Do they have to be put in by a specialist? How long are they in for? It seems like transferring would be quite tricky with one of these. I find already airport transfers from their weird aisle chairs to be very hard; I am not sure I could do it with some tubes and bags hanging off me.
    Last edited by xsfxsf; 11-13-2011 at 10:28 PM.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by smashms View Post
    How long is the flight if it is only a couple of hours then don't drink anything before you get on and cath right before you load when i was cathing i was ok for at least 4 hours.
    Short flights are not a problem, long flights are the problem. Remember also in wheelchair one is seated first and deplanes last. Deplaning can take an hour since airlines routinely lose or get confused by where the wheelchair is in baggage. Also, it's important to factor in delays. I personally do not feel comfortable on a flight more than 2 hours at most because of all the delays at either end, and the risk of of a flight delay. So I have not flown more than that in many years. It's a bit hard to explain why to others though, makes for awkwardness.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by xsfxsf View Post
    In any case, how do those permanent or long-term catheters work exactly? Do they have to be put in by a specialist? How long are they in for? It seems like transferring would be quite tricky with one of these. I find already airport transfers from their weird aisle chairs to be very hard; I am not sure I could do it with some tubes and bags hanging off me.
    If you are referring to an indwelling (Foley) catheter, you can learn how to insert and care for these yourself from a nurse or physician. People change them themselves all the time if they have good hand function. You would need a prescription (in most states) to purchase the supplies, and it must be inserted with strict sterile technique (sterile gloves, etc.). You would also need a leg bag which can be worn under your clothing. The catheter must be secured to prevent it getting pulled out by mistake. You may still have to empty it on the flight, so have an empty water or juice bottle you can use for this, then put it in the vomit bag and give it to the cabin attendant to discard. Be sure to get a second set of supplies and bag for your return trip so you can insert it prior to flying back home. If you leave it in for your entire trip, you do increase your risks for UTIs.

    (KLD)

  8. #18

    Travel and self-cath

    Quote Originally Posted by moor View Post
    What to do with urinary catheterization when i want to travel or on an airplaine?
    I do intermittent catheterization every 4 to 5 hours, and sometimes every 2 hours (when i am drinking...), but what i want to know is what to do on an airplane? shall i use indwelling catheter? if not, how can i do intermittent cathetertization on an airplane? can i take KY gel or other lubrincant on an airplaine!!!!!!
    Please help
    I have been self-cathing for over 5 years now, and I travel frequently. When traveling, I carry pre-lubricated catheters (brand is RUSCH). They are easy to use in a confined space such as an airplane lavatory. The only other thing required are disinfecting wipes. I use the small, single packet BZK antiseptic wipes. The pre-lubricated RUSCH catheter has a sheave system that enables you to insert the catheter without ever touching the tube, which is a HUGE safety feature for preventing contamination, a real plus when you have to use public facilities.
    At home and work, where I have a place to set up my supplies, I used "polished eye-let catheters," which are the most comfortable catheters. (I use CURE catheters.) When traveling over extended stays, I usually take both, the pre-lubricated RUSCH catheter for when I out, and the regular catheters to use once I'm in my motel room. One note: The pre-lubricated catheters are not quite as comfortable as polished eye-let catheters.
    To carry my catheters, I bought a fly-fishing waist pack at a Bass Pro Shop. It is about the size of a small-medium purse, and has a shoulder strap, so it can be worn either as a waist pack or carried over your shoulder. I average 6 catheters per day, and the waist pack will hold 2 days of supplies of catheters, disinfecting wipes, etc. I also add a 3-oz plastic bottle of alcohol for disinfecting surfaces.
    I have never had any trouble carrying my supplies on airplanes. Medical supplies are exempt from the normal carry-on rules and limitations in the U.S. I always keep the waist pack with a minimum of 1 day's supplies with me at all times, and pack extra supplies in my luggage. The lubricant packets have never been a problem getting through security. For international travel, I only carry the pre-lubricated catheters, so I don't need the lubricant packets.

  9. #19
    We travel much less than a few years ago due to the untrained third party contractors airports use for aisle chair assistance. It's all about weighing the risk vs the benefit of the trip.
    Our carry on gear includes closed system catheters, a thin travel blanket that mashes back into a self-contained pocket, a small LED flashlight and small, black trash bags for the waste. I hold the flashlight under the blanket while he caths.
    At the beginning of the flight, we let the flight attendant know what he's going to be doing and why.
    The black trash bag gets dropped into the container they bring around to collect non-recyclables before landing.

  10. #20
    I know this probably wont help, but I have sent supplies to the hotel I'm staying at. Gee I hate to travel now

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