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A Guide Catheter – Choosing the Best One  

A Guide Catheter – Choosing the Best One  

24 February 21

A Guide to Choosing the Best Guide Catheter 

guide catheter for choosing the right one for your needs is very important.  It is vital to understand the use of the right catheter even if you have used it several times. There are many specifications that need attention when you want to use one. You need to understand the risk of infection, the sizelength, and tip requirements.  A guide catheter is imperative because of its direct relation to a person’s health and you need to know proper guidelines before using one.  

guide catheter 

What is Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) 

A complete guide catheter can help detect infections effectively.  Using the wrong catheter can lead to an increased risk of infection.  It is a possibility that the bacteria might contaminate the catheter which in turn can cause infection in the urethra.  

A Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) can trigger bacterial infections which may lead to severe problems. 

What is a Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) and how to reduce its risks 

Catheter-associated urinary tract infection is an infection caused by unhygienic use of a catheter. It is possible when you use it with un-sanitized hands or in unhygienic conditions.  

In order to prevent this from happening it is wise to wash hands before inserting a catheter. Moreover, you can minimize the risk of infection by using one that does not require any touch.  By minimizing the amount of contact to the main part of the catheter that needs to be inserted, you automatically minimize the risk of infection. 

With a guide catheter, it is probable to get a touch-free and infection-less catheter. Now, the design enables the user to use it without coming in contact with the main part of the tube. This basically involves the wrapping of the whole catheter in a plastic cover which allows infection-free insertion from external touch. 

The reason behind getting a non-touch catheter reduces the chances of transferring any bacteria from your hands onto the catheter. Moreover, getting a pre-lubricated catheter can help in inserting and making its way up into the urinary tract.  

While on the other hand, if you use a non-lubricated catheter, it means that you will have to do it personally thus the risk factor increases causing infections. The more the involvement of external elements like a hand touch, the more the chances of occurrence of bacterial infections.   

Considering the option of getting a pre-lubricated catheter can help you save time and prevent the unnecessary occurrence of urinary tract infections. 

Choosing the right french size of the Catheter 

The best way to measure a catheter tube diameter is by using a French scale.  One unit of a french scale is equal to 0.33 millimeters in catheter diameter.  In adult males, 14 french size and adult women 12 french sizes of a catheter diameter tube are the most recommendable.  

Usually, the average range of catheter size in men is 14 to 16 french and 10 to 12 french in females. Although these sizes can fit almost all the average users, some other option to choose a suitable size catheter is by trying on some samples. Moreover, some people can increase or decrease and the changes they may discover are in the flow and the speed.   

However, if men use a catheter size that is smaller than the diameter of the urethra, it may cause the urine to leak rather than a smooth flow of the liquid through the catheter.  On the other hand, if the catheter diameter is bigger than the urethra diameter, it may cause a sensation of burning and discomfort while insertion. 

Moreover, using catheters bigger than needed can cause tears in the skin of the urethra which may cause discomfort and even show traces of blood in the urine in severe cases.  Other than the fact of using a bigger catheter, using one without lubrication or one that is inflexible can cause uncomfortable insertion even if the diameter matches the diameter of the urethra.  

Globally the size of a catheter is defined by a color-coding by the international standards.  The following sizes show specific colors that match with the specific size. The most common adult catheters come in size 10 french that is black, size 12 french is white, size 14 french is green, size 16 french is orange and size 18 french is red. 

Length of Catheter for men and women 

It is a standard scale to get a 16 inches length for males and 6 inches length for females. Usually, 16 inches and 6 inches for men and women respectively serve the right purpose. However, sometimes there is a need for an extra-long catheter. 

Plussized women may need to use extra-long catheters.  In other cases, women using wheelchairs need male catheter in order to facilitate drainage from a wheelchair. If the catheter being used is short the user can easily add an extension that attaches with a funnel of the catheter and can provide some more length to the already existing catheter. 

The unisex catheters are also available in the market that can be used by both men and women.  These kinds of catheters are adjustable and can extend up to 16 inches from the plastic covering.  

Types of Catheter 

There are two types of catheters. They are straight catheter and Coudé catheter.  

Straight Catheter and Coudé catheter 

The standard type of catheter is the one that has a straight tip and this is why it is called Straight Catheter.  On the other hand, the one that has a curved tip is a Coudé catheter.   Usually, if there are no problems in the patient’s urethra you can use a straight catheter. But if a patient has bumps along the urethra or has a difficult curved entrance of the bladder you can use a Coudé catheter because of its flexible tip. 

If we use a straight catheter in a bumpy urethra, it can be hard to make its way. This is why a curved catheter can smoothly pass over the bumps and prevent any discomfort while insertion. 

The Best time to use a Coudé catheter 

It is feasible to use a Coudé catheter when the patient is suffering from an enlarged prostate. This is also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). You can use it when there is scarring from prior prostate surgery 

Also, it’s viable to use it in patients with urinary stricture disease or those having prior urethral traumaAnother condition involves the presence of false passages in the urethra or stomaMoreover, you can bring it in use for radiation treatment for prostate/bladder cancer patients.  

When inserting the catheter in the above-mentioned patients it is compulsory to point the tip of the catheter upwards. To ease the insertion, the catheter comes with instructions already on it. There is a line that distinguishes the entrance direction for new users.  

Take Away on Guide Catheter 

When using a catheter it is important to keep your specifications in mind. There is different kind of catheter for male and females. Another factor attached to using a catheter is its hygiene.  It is important to use the catheter in very hygienic conditions otherwise it may increase the risk of infection. 

It is better to get one that comes in pre-lubricated packaging. Otherwise, a catheter that does not have proper lubrication can be very time-consuming and inconvenient causing discomfort for the patient. Moreover, it has a potential higher infection risk. The best way to use the right catheter is to get proper guidelines about its size, design, and method. 

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guide catheter