External catheters are ideal for male patients suffering from incontinence. These patients usually find it embarrassing when people find out about their condition. Men are more privy about their condition of incontinence than women, and a lot of companies have spent sizeable amounts of money on addressing this concern. As a result of all this research, companies have come out with external catheters for men. These can be worn on the penis just like a condom, are relatively safer than indwelling catheters and can be used without hampering the freedom of the patient.
Located just behind the pubic bone, the urinary bladder is a small round organ that holds excess urine. The bladder is connected to the penis through the urethral tract. When the bladder is full, the brain transmits a signal and prompts a person to void the bladder. However, in some neurological disorders, the brain is unable to transmit messages to the person to void. Such people develop incontinence and might pass out some drops of urine involuntarily. Catheterization is recommended for these people. While women are relatively more open to using intermittent catheters, men have shown a more marked tendency of being averse to using catheters. External catheters are best for those male patients, for whom concealment of the catheter is of utmost importance.
There are some basic guidelines that one must adhere to in order to ensure that external catheters are used safely and effectively. You should always wash your hands whenever they come in contact with the catheter. You should also wash the genital area frequently with betadine solution to prevent infection. You should always place the urine collection bag below the catheter in order to prevent the urine from accumulating in the catheter tube instead of the collection bag. Ideally, urine collection bags are tied to the patient’s leg. This not only hides the bag from the external world, it also ensures safe catheter usage.
You ought to fasten the catheter tubes securely against the thigh. If the catheter tubes are not secured in place properly, it might lead the catheter into slipping out of place and falling apart. This can lead to embarrassing situations and will defeat the purpose of using external catheters in the first place. Fasten the catheter in a way that there is some room for slack. This will ensure that the catheter tube doesn’t snap out from the joints. You should be extra careful while disconnecting the urine collection bag from the catheter. Ensure that your fingers are not too close to the end of the catheter tube as there might be some urine spillage while disconnecting the catheter.
External catheters are suitable for single-time usage and you should replace the catheters as per the frequency suggested by the physician. Most external catheters are made out of latex and using them is as comfortable as using a condom. Some modern external catheters are made from silicone and this offers an enhanced view of the catheter. External catheters are more convenient and safer than indwelling catheters, however, these can be more expensive than other types of catheters because of the frequent changes required.
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Tags: catheter, catheter tube, catheters, external catheters, general usage, indwelling catheters, male patients, urine collection bag.