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Thread: catheters

  1. #1
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Auburn, AL,USA

    Question catheters

    Best way to clean and reused them?


    Jake's Pop

  2. #2
    Since Medicare approved single use catheter reimbursement (and most insurance companies follow this guideline), most people aren't cleaning and reusing as they once did. If you find yourself having to reuse catheters, clean cath technique would suggest that you wash them with soap and hot water, rinse and let dry before reuse. Other techniques are:
    -hydrogen peroxide
    -household bleach and water
    -water alone

    Comparison study of home catheter cleaning methods.
    Kurtz MJ, Van Zandt K, Burns JL.
    Three methods of cleaning urinary catheters for reuse at home by clients on intermittent catheterization programs were studied. Reused catheters were collected from clients, autoclaved, and then incubated in a culture of Escherichia coli broth. Three different isolates of E. coli were used at concentrations ranging from 4.8 x 10(5) to 1.0 x 10(8) colony-forming units per milliliter. The catheters were then rinsed with tap water for 1 minute and soaked in one of three cleaning solutions for 30 minutes. The three cleaning solutions studied were 0.6% hydrogen peroxide, bleach in a 1:4 solution with tap water, and betadine in a 1:2 solution with tap water. None of the cleaned catheters showed detectable growth for 48 hours after the cleaning procedure was performed.

    All the best,

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by giambjj View Post
    Best way to clean and reused them?


    Don't do it. Use only new ones.
    C4,5,6 incomplete with 100% full feeling

  4. #4
    Senior Member wtf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    silver state
    Before I was on medicare I was re-washing/re-using catheters. I used liquid soap to wash, rinsed well, shook out the excess water and let dry out overnight on a clean paper towel. I always had a couple boxes of new catheters on hand (I paid out of pocket) that I switched to after 3 or 4 uses. I'm so happy I don't have to do that anymore.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I use a weak Clorox solution. A splash in the bottom of a gallon jug. The 1 in 4 solution listed above seems much too strong, if not dangerous. I certainly would not want to stick that in me. It is much stronger than is recommended to sterilize food prep surfaces. The catheter is stored in a 1 liter collection bottle with the tip out in the air so it air dries.

    The routine is:

    Dip the catheter in the Clorox solution. Crystal Geyser markets a nice tall one gallon spring water jug here and I use that.

    Rinse the catheter. I have a bar tall bar faucet on my sink for this purpose.

    Surgilube on the tip, and insert until it reaches the sphincter.

    Relax while I get the collection bottle, then finish insertion and drain.

    Scrub catheter with a soapy sponge and vigor.

    Rinse and drop the catheter in the Clorox solution.

    Drain collection bottle, and rinse.

    Take the catheter out of the Clorox solution, dip the other end in the Clorox solution, and put catheter upside down in collection bottle to dry. This transfers a bit of the Clorox to the collection bottle. I occasionally give it a good soap, water, Clorox scrubbing as well.

    Notice the catheter does not spend more than a minute or so total in the Clorox solution.

    When traveling, I put about 15 catheters in a zip lock bag with a small amount of Clorox solution. Every couple of days, i wash all the used ones and water and then back into the bag.

    The catheter is changed about once a month (about 150 ~ 200 uses) if I remember. If it goes too long, the deteriorating tip will cause bleeding. Not a good idea, but this takes a few months. The Clorox water is changed every couple of months.

    To the outsider, this must seem very causal. But I have cathed myself at least 40,000 times, and I have thought about it how it might be better most of those times. So I may being doing what is needed, and not doing any bad stuff, without even knowing it. Bladder infections have been minimal, especially over the last decade. I am very sensitive to the symptoms and can usually get them early. This is not a trivial skill, and it is important. It took decades for to get it. The slightest symptom triggers a heaping teaspoon of d-mannose in a glass of water three times a day. This happens once every few months. Have not had any antibiotic for at least 10 years. Knock on wood.

    Each of us is different. Some of us seem to be able to look at a totally enclosed totally sterile catheter system and become infected. Others seem to be able to almost lube with spit and do fine.

    In the end you need to try what you think is reasonable and decide for yourself.
    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.

  6. #6
    I've only been at it for about ayear now, but all I do is rinse the cathere under running water immediately before use and thus far have had no infections.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Playing with fire .. some bacteria can survive outside the body for more than 24hrs (MRSA).
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  8. #8
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    after having to reuse and re sterilize for several years, I still feel a little anxiety when I throw them away each time. I keep a few of the old type, unopened for an emergency.
    in case I cant get the disposables on time.

    the single use ones are softer silicone, while the re usable ones are harder plastic with no pre-lubed coating.

  9. #9
    i am a c5/c6 quad I now have a suprapubic catheter but I have a lot of i think 16gauge catheters brand new that i'm gonna throw out unless someone wants them just reinburse me for the box and shipping send me a message if you want them and we will figure it out

  10. #10
    Senior Member garyv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Port St Lucie,Florida
    When I had to re-use catheters and in rehab they told us to boil them in a glass pot , then let them cool in the pot and store in a new large zip lock baggiy when dry. and they where supposed to be good for 1 week to use .
    But since medicare has started to give up to 200 a month I can now use new ones evey day..
    But if you dont have insurance I made a deal with the manager at the DME supply to get the 4 that medicare allowed (before they changed the rules of 200 per month ) then he gave me the others I needed for about $1 each because they new I could not afford them and also I got all of my other supplies from them so they where still making money from the rest of my supplies from medicare so he was giving me dealer prices..
    T-10 ,,1980,,

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