Intermittent catheterization

Intermittent catheterization, also known as “in-and-out” or “straight”catheterization, often used in patients with neurogenic bladder or spinal cord injury, lessens the risk of urinary tract infection. Intermittent catheterization is preferable to indwelling urethral or suprapubic catheters in patients with bladder emptying dysfunction. When the patient returns to the community, intermittent catheterization enhances patient privacy and dignity, and facilitates return to activities of daily living (Gould et al 2009).  It is important to perform intermittent catheterization at regular intervals to avoid overdistending the bladder. Among hospitalized patients, intermittent catheterization is often used in combination with a portable bladder ultrasound. Portable bladder ultrasound is a non-invasive portable tool for diagnosing and managing urinary outflow dysfunction. For example, portable bladder ultrasound could be used to detect that a patient has insufficient quantities of urine to justify catheterization.