What is Catheter?
Catheters are devices which are inserted into a blood vessel or vein (venous plexus) to drain blood from the body. They are used to treat many medical conditions including:
Kidney Failure/Renal Failure/Urology Treatment (Urinary Tract Infection)
In most cases, the main reason why someone needs a catheter is to avoid infection in the veins. With a catheter, the blood isn’t flowing directly from the body into a plastic bag which can lead to infection. Instead, it is drained out of the body and into a bag. There are many different types of catheters. Most of them can be found at your local medical supplier or on Amazon.
Placement of a catheter depends on which body part needs to be drained. In most cases, it is placed in the arm (called an “peripheral” catheter) because it is less complicated than placing one in a more sensitive place. They can be placed in the chest (“central” catheter), in the neck (“cephalic” catheter), the brain (“intracranial” catheter), or almost any other body part. These catheters are much more complicated and difficult to place.
The most common catheters are short and placed in the arms. They are called “Peripheral” catheters. These are the simplest type of catheters and do not require much maintenance. They can be used for several days before needing to be replaced.
The Foley Catheter is the most common type of catheter. It is a balloon that is inflated to “plug” the bladder and divert all urine flow into the catheter. It is then easily removed by a nurse once it is no longer needed. This type of catheter is only used temporarily because of the high risk of bladder infection. However, they are easy to place and do not cause much discomfort.
An Indwelling Catheter is a tube that is placed into the bladder, through the urethra and into the bladder. It has a balloon at the tip to stop the urine from flowing back into the bladder. This is a permanent catheter that requires regular changing and cleaning by a nurse or loved one.
What is a Catheter used for?
Catheters are used by people who are unable to control their bladder, such as people with neurological damage or spinal cord injuries. The catheter allows urine to drain from the body, so the person does not have an accident. There are several different types of catheters, depending on placement and how long it needs to last. They are all used for the same purpose: to drain the urine.
What is Catheterization?
Catheters can be placed into the body for short or long periods of time. Short term catheterization is used to drain the bladder for people who are unable to access the bathroom on their own. This could be due to a medical condition like spinal cord injury or neurological problems. It could also be caused by something temporary like a broken hip, for example. The short term catheters can be placed in the bladder or up into the urethra, depending on how long they need to stay in place and how the patient responds to them.
Long term catheters are usually used by people who have a persistent need to drain their bladder. This could be due to a spinal cord injury or other damage that has caused incontinence. It could also be used for people who are unable to get to the bathroom on their own, such as patients in a coma.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Dilatation catheter (EP Strecker – US Patent 4,922,905, 1990 – Google Patents)
- Ablation catheter system (GG Brucker, SD Savage – US Patent 5,500,012, 1996 – Google Patents)
- Variable diameter catheter (CR Fuqua – US Patent 4,738,666, 1988 – Google Patents)
- Ablation catheter (NE Fearnot – US Patent 5,100,423, 1992 – Google Patents)