Urinary catheters are commonly recommended to patients suffering from urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and other medical conditions such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury. Surgery on the prostate or genitals also requires the usage of urinary catheters. The increasing demand for urinary catheters among geriatric population, coupled with increasing prevalence of disorders such as urinary retention and urinary incontinence, is expected to push the global urinary catheters market at a CAGR of 5.1% during the period from 2014 to 2020. The global urinary catheters market stood at US$1.66 billion in 2013 and is estimated to reach a valuation of US$2.37 billion by 2020.
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Prolonged use of urinary catheters leads to urinary tract infections. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections or CAUTIs are one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. A significant percentage of hospitalized patients are recommended to use urinary catheters during their hospital stay. Prolonged use of the urinary catheters can cause infection in any part of the urinary system, including bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidney. CAUTIs have been associated with rise in healthcare costs, extended hospital stay, and mortality. It has been observed largely that CAUTIs are caused due to the presence of an indwelling urinary catheter. Though the prevalence of CAUTI is widespread among hospitalized patients, it can be reasonably prevented. Most CAUTIs can be treated with antibiotics and removal or change of the catheter.
Hospitals Need to Implement Effective Strategies to Reduce Prevalence of CAUTIs
The guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for prevention of CAUTIs emphasize on the proper use, insertion, and maintenance of urinary catheters in different healthcare settings. The risk of CAUTIs can be significantly reduced by ensuring the usage of catheters only when needed and removal as early as possible, by placing catheters through proper aseptic technique, and maintaining closed sterile drainage system.
It is a widely accepted fact that most hospitals have not implemented effective strategies for preventing CAUTIs. According to the American Nurses Association, there are three areas to improve clinical care to reduce the incidence of CAUTIs:
- Timely removal of urinary catheters.
- Prevention of inappropriate short-term catheter use.
- Urinary catheter care during placement.
Before placing any indwelling urinary catheter, it is important to properly assess patient for accepted conditions and alternatives. Documenting all instances of indwelling urinary catheters such as insertion date, indication, and removal date can significantly prevent the prevalence of CAUTIs.
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Condom (External) Catheters- A Potential Alternative to Indwelling Foley Catheters
In order to prevent CAUTIs, antimicrobial catheters, suprapubic catheters, condom catheters, penis pouches, and intermittent catheterization are some of the potential alternatives to indwelling urinary catheters. Condom (external) catheters are generally used to substitute indwelling Foley catheters in the hospitals. Antimicrobial urinary catheters such as silver-alloy and nitrofurazone impregnated catheters are expected to prevent the risk of CAUTIs during short term catheterization. However, there are not sufficient studies to support the effectiveness of antimicrobial catheters during long-term use (more than 30 days).