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Thread: Do catheters REALLY expire?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ryano's Avatar
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    Question Do catheters REALLY expire?

    Serious question. Other than those that come prelubed where the lube might deteriorate over time, is there REALLY such a thing as a catheter expiring to the point that its not recommended for use?

    I found some MMG closed kits that have an expiration date of 2006 on them.........havent used them but there doesnt seem to be a thing wrong with them. Im not in a pinch and have plenty so I dont have to use them but i was just curious.

  2. #2
    The FDA requires an expiration date for catheters as there is no way to assure the integrity of the packaging that maintains sterility after a certain period of time. In addition, if you are using a lubricious (hydrophilic catheter) that has sterile water to activate the lubricant enclosed in the kit, the expiration date is usually dictated by the tested time during which sterility of this water can be maintained.

    It is probably OK to use them, esp. if you have kept them in a cool dark location, but inspect it carefully after opening. If you see any deterioration of materials, or of any included water is cloudy at all, discard it and don't take the risk.

    (KLD

  3. #3
    Hi I have noticed that certain plastic's compositions of some catheters do harden up over long time and they can be brand new un opened in the box .

    Maybe it depends on the brand or particular catheter .

  4. #4
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    so far I havnt had any problems with using my expired hydrophillic caths. sometimes the water pack is hard to burst, but other than that they are fine for me. they were stored in pennsylvania in a storage unit for two years. im glad to have them since I have been paying out of pocket. its like a years worth, that were given to me when my supplyer went out of business just before I moved to south carolina.

  5. #5
    It's one of those things that has to be done by law. Soap, water, frozen products all have them and serve no purpose. Only thing you could do to be sure, check with a nurse here or call your urologist.

  6. #6
    Hear ya Jody they are costly it is good that you had them stored ...
    I pay out of pocket for many of my medical things . Crazy

  7. #7
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    I reuse caths and have some that must be 5 years old, at least.

  8. #8
    I have used some expired LoFric catheters without any problem. Like another person mentioned, its just harder to burst the water packet and I noticed that it too longer for the hydrophillic coating to activate on the expired ones. But, hey, if they still work, why toss them out?

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