A closed system catheter is an intermittent catheter that is self-contained within a drainage bag. This eliminates the need for a receptacle or toilet to drain urine into.Additional Information
One of the main features of a closed system catheter is the catheter introducer tip with a protective cap. When you are ready to cath, you remove the plastic cap, which reveals the introducer tip. The tip is designed to bypass the first few millimeters of your urethra, which tends to contain a higher level of bacteria. By navigating around that area, you prevent the bacteria from going into the urethra and urinary tract. Closed system catheters also have a plastic sleeve around the entire length of the catheter to prevent your hands from coming into contact with the catheter itself. This is what makes it a touchless catheter. All of these features increase sanitation while cathing, thus reducing the risk of urinary tract infections.
Another benefit of closed system catheters is that they are sterile and pre-lubricated so they are ready to use out of the box. They have a slick coating along the entire length of the catheter that makes for more comfortable insertion. The lubricant prevents you from applying too much pressure while inserting the catheter. Having to use alot of force is not only uncomfortable, but it can damage urethral tissue. Another benefit of pre-lubricated catheters is that they reduce the amount of supplies you have to use. This makes it easy to cath when you are not at home.
Just like standard intermittent catheters, closed system catheters come in a variety of styles and sizes. You can choose from a straight tip or a coude tip catheter, depending on your needs. A straight tip is considered standard and is a common catheter to start out with. If inserting a straight tip is uncomfortable, the bent end of a coude tip catheter may work better for you. This type of tip maneuvers around any urethral strictures or an enlarged prostate, decreasing pain. We carry closed system catheters in several French sizes, which is the diameter of the catheter tube.
Some closed catheters are hydrophilic. A hydrophilic catheter comes with a slick polymer coating on the outside of the catheter. When this coating comes into contact with water, it becomes even more smooth. This makes insertion especially comfortable and easy. To activate the coating, simply burst the saline packet that is enclosed in the closed catheter bag. Moving the bag around will help the saline adhere to the entire length of the catheter. Because the saline packet is contained inside the catheter bag, no mess is created.
When it comes to the material of the catheter itself, there are several options available including vinyl, silicone, and red rubber. A vinyl catheter, also referred to as PVC, is the firmest of the three materials. Vinyl catheters often have a color-coded funnel at the end that indicates the French size. Silicone catheters are very smooth and tend to be moderate in terms of firmness. However, there are some silicone catheters that are specifically labeled soft. These soft catheters are a bit more flexible than standard silicone. Another material is red rubber and it is the most flexible of the three. Some people prefer the pliable design, while others find them more difficult to insert. A red rubber catheter should not be used by anyone with a latex allergy or sensitivity, as this can cause a reaction.
Express Medical Supply offers standalone closed system catheters as well as closed system catheter kits. The kits come with supplies like underpads, gloves, and prep pads. The underpad is meant to give you a clean space to set your supplies on while you cath. Although closed system catheters don't require you to touch the catheter, it can still be beneficial to wear gloves. The gloves provide protection during steps like prepping the skin and emptying the catheter bag. Supplies like BZK antiseptic wipes or povidone iodine swabsticks are included in catheter kits to disinfect the skin around the genital area before inserting the catheter. Taking all of these measures before cathing will reduce your risk of urinary tract infections even more.