The quick answer is absolutely.
The long answer is not if you take necessary precautions. When inserting anything into the body, you require sterilization in order to ward off possible contamination and infections.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, also known as CAUTI, are one of the leading causes of infections in a hospital setting and self-cathing is no different. However, if the right steps are taken, the risks of CAUTI can be minimalized.
Some ways to avoid CAUTI when self-cathing are:
1) Use an unopened, sterile catheter every time you cath. Don’t open the catheter until you’re ready to use it, and don’t touch any insertion points with your bare hands or skin.
2) Clean your hands and wear fresh gloves when inserting a catheter.
3) Always use a sterile lubricant. Many prefer the foil packs with measured doses of lubricant to ensure the lube is sterile each time, and for portability.
4) Clean/disinfect the skin thoroughly around the insertion point before placing a catheter inside. Clean it after removal as well.
5) If using an intermittent catheter, keep the skin around the catheter clean at all times.
5) Don’t leave a catheter in for longer than it is indicated. Dispose of it promptly after removal.
6) Clean the skin around the insertion point carefully after cathing.
There are some basic ideas; you should talk with your nurse for materials or steps to correctly cath and protect yourself from CAUTI. They should be able to provide you with additional materials about the proper procedures, or point you in the right direction to obtain them.
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