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New Inventions Improve Quality of Life For Catheter Patients

By Cassandra Tezeno November 11, 2016

Although urinary catheters have helped drain the bladder for more than 3,500 years, there is still a lot of work to be done. Patients with urinary catheters still experience frequent issues due to the nature of how catheters and urinary drain bags operate. In fact, catheter-related urinary tract infections are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection by far.

If you have to deal with complications from catheters, catheter plugs and caps, or catheter leg bag extension tubing on a regular basis, you're certainly not alone. Luckily, advancements are being made to improve your quality of life. Most recently, exciting developments are happening in terms of more comfortable catheter-friendly clothing and in the catheters themselves. Best of all, these improvements are being made because of the people who see and experience the complications from catheters on a daily basis: namely, hospital staff and catheter patients.

No one knows the scope of catheter-related infections and problems better than a registered nurse. Yvette Young, a Minnesota-based RN, got fed up seeing her catheter patients suffer from countless sores and infections. When a urologist sent a note regarding a particular patient that said to "keep all pressure off" in order to counteract his catheter infection -- a nearly impossible task due to the briefs patients use -- she knew a change needed to be made.

Eventually, this led to Young's undergarment invention: the ComfyCath. These briefs feature a slit down the front for the catheter tube to go through. Normally, catheter tubes are threaded through one of the brief legs, which can cause kinking, build-up, and infections. But Young's invention allows caregivers and hospital staff to treat a catheter patient -- even one who is bed-ridden -- without removing the ComfyCath briefs.

Young's invention shows a lot of promise, as her patients who have tested the briefs all experienced improvements in their drainage. She recently took out a patent on her invention and is exploring further developments. Though she has big plans for the ComfyCath, Young's current focus is on patients with limited mobility issues. She hopes to bring the diaper-like model to market in the future.

Patients with mobility issues may also have trouble taking care of their actual catheters, too. Though there are currently catheter products on the market that allow for easy one-handed drainage, they may not be sufficient for those with especially limited dexterity. Catheter plugs and caps can prove difficult for those who suffer from MS, diabetes, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, or strokes.

But now the PerfIC Cath® has been approved by the FDA. "Created for users by users," the new catheter features the newest technologies, including easy-open packaging, a better grip, an introducing tip to reduce infection risks, and hydrophilic coating for ensured lubrication. Overall, the PerfIC Cath® promises a cleaner and more user-friendly experience for catheter patients.

Although advancements in the medical field are being made all the time, these developments represent an area that's been lacking attention until now. Catheter plugs and other urological supplies are vital for a great number of patients. It's about time they got a bit of an upgrade.

To find out more about the range of medical supplies we have available, please contact us today. We can help you improve your quality of life with our supply of catheters, catheter plugs, drain bags, and more.

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