Ian Pomfret District Continence Adviser, Chorley & South Ribble District General Hospital
Catheterisation is a relatively simple procedure for most patients, but it has many implications – physical, mental, social and sexual – beyond enabling the drainage of urine. Ian Pomfret discusses this challenging aspect of community care
Urinary catheterisation is a procedure commonly performed in the community by health care professionals, patients and informal carers. Though essentially a relatively simple procedure to perform, a wide range of choices and decisions is involved. These include:
The method of catheterisation, intermittent or indwelling
The type and size of catheter for the individual patient
The type of drainage system, bags or valves
Aspects of catheter care, bladder wash-outs, hygiene etc.
Promoting and maintaining quality of life.
The practice of healthcare professionals performing routine catheter changes and catheter care in the community is questioned, and the education of patients and carers regarding these procedures is discussed. Patients’ sexual needs when catheterisation is used as a method of urinary management are considered, and options for maintaining a normal life style are described.
Primary Health Care. 9, 5, 29-36. doi: 10.7748/phc1999.06.9.5.29.c648