Damage From Catheters

Damage From Catheters: Are There Any Solutions?

Damage caused from catheters has become a major concern over the last few years among health care professionals, as well as, catheter users. Not only do catheters create a massive amount of pain and discomfort for the patient, but they also raise the risk of infections and even more life threatening ailments such as bladder cancer. In addition to damage from catheters, it has now become financially uneconomical to treat patients who suffer from illnesses directly relating to catheterization.

Due to amendments in the policy set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the way they pay redress to medical centers, it is now not financially feasible to treat patients with illnesses relating to catheterization. The amendment states that they will no longer forfeit the bill for a wide range of infections that are contracted in a hospital, thus meaning that the hospital is required to pay bills relating to readmission rates and all cases where a patient contracts a catheter related infection during a hospital admission. This has seen a massive shift in the way health care organizations deal with the damaging effects of catheters. It is now more important than ever to move from a treatment orientated stance towards prevention and solution of this reoccurring problem.

So what are the damaging effects of catheters?

There are a large variety of infections and traumas directly linked to catheterization which can include:

 CAUTI (Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection)


Bladder spasms

Urine blockages

Damage to the bladder wall through perforation and even penetration

Blood in the urine

Patient discomfort levels during catheterization

These are the damaging effects associated with catheterization as a direct result of the invasive nature and design of the traditional Foley catheter, which is the most widely used type of catheter.

Other Risks Associated With Catheters

When it comes to risks associated with catheters, there is also the risk of human error or inadequate training by medical staff. For instance, with the Foley catheter, if the distal balloon is filled while not being properly inserted into the bladder, damage can occur to the urethra. This has been known to happen numerous times, especially when medical staff unwittingly use a female catheter on a male patient. The differences in length between the male and female Foley catheter can cause great damage to the patient if not used on the appropriate sex.

Why the Foley Catheter has become the #1 Choice

It is also important to make a distinction of the various types of catheters, as there are varying degrees of discomfort and trauma associated with each. For instance, the condom catheter, a type of external catheter, is not invasive at all and has very low levels of discomfort, but the amount of patients who qualify for this type of catheter is very low. Some patients are also not able to wear condom catheters due to allergies or skin issues that can arise from this type of catheter.

Intermittent catheters, which are designed to only be used once and then discarded, are helpful in reducing the risks associated with catheters, such as CAUTI (catheter associated urinary tract infection), but intermittent catheters just are not the right solution for many patients. Intermittent catheterization has to be done every 4-6 hours, which can be an inconvenience for many catheter users. For some, it also can be hard to obtain the quantity of intermittent catheters needed through medical insurance. With intermittent catheters, the catheter user still runs the risk of infection and the risk of urinary leakage due to the bladder becoming too full.

With the issues related to condom catheters and intermittent catheters, this leaves the Foley catheter, which has become the catheter of choice for health professionals around the world. Foley catheters are designed to be secured in the bladder by using an inflatable balloon and can be used as a short term or long term solution for many urinary issues. The Foley catheter makes life easier for patients due to not having to worry about self-catheterization every 4-6 hours and not having to worry about skin irritation such as with the condom catheter. However, it is also this type of catheter that is responsible for most of the damage that occurs to a bladder. The damaging nature of the Foley design is something that has so far been overlooked in favor of just trying to limit its damaging effects to the bladder.

Damaging Effects From The Foley Catheter

It is being noticed that the Foley catheter seems to cause the most damage in bladders. The biggest problem with the Foley catheter is with the tip of the catheter. The tip of the Foley catheter can do all kinds of damage to the lining of the bladder wall. The tip can also cause extreme discomfort and pain for the catheter user. When the tip of the Foley catheter damages the bladder wall, it makes the catheter user more prone to urinary tract infections and increases their risk of getting bladder cancer. Patients who suffer from urinary tract infections are then more at risk of more serious issues such as kidney infections and blood infections. Catheter users around the world have learned to tolerate the discomfort, the pain and the constant infections caused by the Foley catheter because the Foley catheter is the best choice of catheter for their situation. Some patients are just simply not able to use external catheters or intermittent catheters and have no choice, but to use the Foley catheter.

Preventing Damage From Catheters

Here at Poiesis Medical, we are the first to have a solution to the flaws in the design of the Foley catheter. Protecting against many of the trauma causing effects of the traditional Foley catheter and backed up with clinical trials and visual evidence, the Duette™ dual balloon catheter is proven to reduce bladder trauma, patient discomfort during catheterization, and reducing the onset of catheter related infections. A solution to the many problems caused by the Foley catheter is finally available and can give relief to catheter users who have long awaited for a change.

To learn more about this new style of Foley catheter, please visit our website at

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