There are a variety of health conditions that affect the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract. In some cases, these may be intermittent, while in others, they may be chronic and require surgery or other types of intervention.
It’s interesting to note that urinary catheters have been used for over 3,500 years. Currently, there are different types of catheters used to assist individuals with emptying urine from their bladder. Foley catheters, for example, are used when someone is undergoing surgery or during a hospital stay. Approximately 15% to 25% of hospitalizations, for example, will require an indwelling, or Foley, catheter.
Incontinence increases with age. For individuals within the 65 to 69 year age bracket, approximately 14% will experience urinary incontinence. When individuals are 85 or older, however, 45% will experience urinary incontinence.
In order to address urinary incontinence, there are a variety of devices and products available. These primarily include the use of urinary catheters and different types of pads.
Urinary Tract Infections
As a result of needing catheterization, many individuals are affected by catheter associated urinary tract infections. These are considered to be the most common healthcare-associated infections that are reported by acute care hospitals. Recent data shows that these infections amount to 30% of healthcare-associated infections. Almost all of these infections are caused by the insertion of urinary catheters.
When someone had kidney disease, their kidney function tends to decline. When it has reached the point that they have less than 10% to 15% kidney function, they will need either dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Painful Bladder Syndrome and Interstitial Cystitis
When someone has painful bladder syndrome and interstitial cystitis, or PBS/IC, there are 2 primary treatments for this condition. The first is oral medication, and the second, a bladder instillation. When a bladder instillation is indicated, a catheter is inserted directly into this organ in order to administer the necessary medication.
When patients have been released from the hospital, many will need a variety of urology supplies. In some cases, home care nurses will be taking care of these individuals. In other instances, they will be able to attend to these needs themselves.
If someone has a leg bag, for example, they will need to empty it at least twice per day or when it is half-full.
These bags need to be cleaned on a daily basis, and replaced according to physician’s orders. This will usually be twice a week. However, in some cases, a physician may recommend doing this once a week.