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Intermittent 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.1 It is important to perform intermittent catheterization at regular intervals to avoid over-distending the bladder. Among hospitalized patients, intermittent catheterization is often used in combination with a portable bladder ultrasound.
1. Gould CV, Umscheid CA, Agarwal RK, Kuntz G, Pegues DA. Guideline for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections 2009. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol;31:319-26.