As much as we probably hate them, catheters are another example of an invaluable medical device. These tubes might seem insignificant, but they allow individuals to relieve themselves during surgery, following body trauma, or even after suffering spinal injuries that result in paralysis. Some catheters are short-term, while others stick around much longer. If you or a loved one requires these types of medical devices often, it’s important to understand the most common complications associated with catheters.
Unfortunately, individuals do sometimes have allergic reactions to catheters, specifically if they’re sensitive to latex materials. Along with being quite painful, allergic reactions while a catheter is actively in use can actually cause more medical complications. Silicone catheters should be used for patients with latex allergies to better protect their health. Additionally, the importance of laser marking catheters helps ensure these allergic reactions never occur in the first place.
Indwelling Catheter Issues
An indwelling, or Foley catheter, is a long-term medical device. Unlike other catheters, these are for daily use and often follow certain injuries or surgeries. Additionally, individuals who suffer from urinary incontinence and/or retention may need an indwelling catheter. While these devices are very helpful in improving the quality of life for many people, long-term use can cause certain complications. Mainly, indwelling catheters may bring about kidney damage and, in rare cases, bladder cancer. If you notice blood in the urine or irregular discomfort around the catheter, you must seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Bladder and Urethral Trauma
Bladder and urethral trauma are more common than you’d think following a surgery in which doctors use a catheter. Following treatment, the catheter that remains inserted can irritate the bladder, leading the bladder to contract. This is pretty painful and sometimes produces blood in the patient’s urine. There’s also a chance of urethral scarring that makes urination much more difficult; however, this is most common following urethral repair operations. Luckily, most bladder and urethral trauma heal quickly, typically after removing the catheter.
Learning about the most common complications associated with catheters is not the most fun subject – in fact, it’s probably a bit uncomfortable. However, it’s absolutely essential that you are aware of these potential issues to better prevent them from occurring in the future. Always maintain open communication with your doctor when using a catheter, especially an indwelling catheter, to ensure that complications are less likely.