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Thread: Need straight catheter guidance

  1. #1

    Need straight catheter guidance

    Since the start of my SCI, 5 years ago, I've used enclosed intermittent catheters. After a little experimenting, I settled on the MTG EZ-Gripper, since it required no finger dexterity. I have some but not much. After a few years, I became interested in converting to a straight catheter, mostly to reduce the amount of waste generated. As luck would have it, Medicare just decided that they would no longer pay for enclosed catheters since I have not had two documented UTI's in the last year. I'm OK with the decision and have about 300 of the EZ-Gripper catheters to allow an orderly transition to the new method, using PECO catheters. But I have some questions.

    I have a large supply of benzalkonium wipes from the catheter kits. I've never been able to use them without opening with scissors, so I don't, using alcohol hand disinfectant instead. I have no sensation in my penis so if it burns it doesn't bother me. Is there any reason I should not do that?

    The PECO catheter is not prelubricated. I emptied a 2oz pump top hand sanitizer bottle and refilled it with KY jelly. That seems to be a pretty sanitary way to apply lubricant to me and the catheter, but I suspect there are better ways. Maybe just a small bottle that I'd stick the end of the catheter into?


    One convenience I enjoy with the enclosed catheters is cathing anywhere. I'll cath in the van when I arrive at a theater, restaurant, party or whatever, buying more time until I need to again. With the EZ-Gripper, I can just toss it into a trash can. I'm hoping for suggestions to make the new cathing method as convenient. I have a vinyl tube catheter extension that terminates in a Gatorade bottle top, but I neither want to discard the bottle or have a potentially leaking bottle of urine in the van.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    i'm female so i don't think i can answer all the questions. maybe a nurse can help out with the hand cleaner and lube question. as a man, i'm sure you MUST use lube. is there some reason you can't get those little individual packets that look like ketchup?

    i've straight cathed for years and when i was working i used the all-in-ones, i guess that's what you mean. the catheter is pre-lubed and attached to a bag so you just toss the whole thing after. i dislike the inconvenience of using restrooms other than my own, mostly because i have to get half-undressed. plus falling would be bad since i've been injured 35 years and have horrible osteoporosis.

    i straight cath but i use clean method and not sterile. it's probably better to use sterile but next to impossible. i'm pretty sure that using hand cleaner isn't a good idea though, simply because i don't know if it's going to break down your urethra. sometimes you have to watch those things you can't feel. but betadine is way too messy (even for me, let alone you). then again, i don't know what effect benzalkonium wipes have either. i have used them if i'm inserting a foley but that's far from every day. most of the time i just use betadine wipes, but you'd need gloves, plus getting them open . . .

    until something better comes along, i will guess the pump of KY is okay, as long as you keep the nozzle clean, but i wouldn't use anything i constantly had to dip into. it just seems easier to contaminate it like that. [add] i can't remember much about his except that he covered it with like a band-aid or something. i've heard that the suprapubics won't stay open unless there's a foley in, and i dislike that aspect of it. that's the main reason i haven't done it, i may be getting close to considering one though. hope this was a little help.

    would you consider a suprapublic ostomy without an attached foley? i knew a guy in chicago who did that, he had not great manual dexterity but he just straight cathed. i think even if you're using a public restroom, you're going to need an extension. coloplast also makes 14# intermittents that i use if i have to stay in bed.

    p.s. it's my understanding that a suprapubic won't stay open without an indwelling foley, so i'm not really sure how his worked. he did have partial sensation because he wasn't an SCI. he just covered it with a band-aid or something. it may have been one of those surgeries they experiment with but no longer do, because it was about ten years ago.

    disposing of urine is a HUGE pain. (when you are away from home.) oh, hopefully you're using a new sterile cath every time you go? or maybe they're going to wait until you end up with UTI's to approve extras. i've almost died from sepsis from a kidney infection so i get all the catheter i need. (but what a way to get them. )


    Last edited by absinthia darkbloom; 12-12-2015 at 02:37 AM.

  3. #3
    You can ask your urologist to write a letter stating the enclosed catchers work because you have not had a single UTI.

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