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Treatment of Urinary Incontinence With a Bard Catheter
Although urinary problems can affect both men and women, young and old, yet they usually creep in when people have crossed the age of 40.
Elderly people are usually prone to develop the problem of urinary incontinence due to the enlargement of the prostate. As the prostate gland (which is a cluster of small glands) surrounds/encircles the urethra near the neck of the bladder, any enlargement in it narrows the urethra canal and interferes with the flow of urine. If this condition is allowed to persist, the amount of urine left in the bladder may accumulate beyond its capacity and some of the urine may then dribble out whenever the person coughs, sneezes or lifts something (even though not very heavy). Urination may then become a continuous process. It is for tackling this problem that a bard catheter is inserted in the bladder through the urethra to drain out the accumulated urine.
Under the guidance of your doctor, it is possible to use the catheter by yourself to draw out the accumulated urine from the bladder. However, the following pre-requisites have to be arranged before embarking upon the tedious task:
i. A bard catheter - As some people are allergic to latex, it is available in both latex and non-latex variety.
ii. Drainage bag - for receiving the urine drawn from the bladder. It is emptied at regular intervals for testing the urine for any infection.
iii. Sterile lubricant - for lubricating the tip end of the catheter.
iv. Elastic leg strap - for strapping the drainage bag to your leg.
v. Genital cleansing solution - for cleaning the genital thoroughly before inserting the catheter in the urethra.
vi. Irrigation syringe - for filling the balloon (with distilled water) at the tip of the catheter. The balloon keeps the catheter firmly in place.
In addition to above, the following items may also be kept handy for allowing immediate use: (a) anti-bacterial soap, (b) medical tape, (c) paper towels and (d) sterile gloves.
How to begin the process:
Firstly, you should wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap. Secondly, you should dry your hands, put on the sterile gloves and then open the catheterization kit.
Thirdly, you should fill the irrigation syringe with approximately 10 cc of distilled water.
Fourthly, you should apply sterile lubricant from the tip of the catheter to a few inches below. This is to allow the catheter to slide smoothly down into the urethra.
Fifthly, get yourself comfortably seated so that you may be able to spread your legs with ease.
Sixthly, you should meticulously clean your genital area with the genital cleansing solution. You may then start inserting the catheter into your urethra-slowly and gently.
Seventhly, you should inject 10 cc of distilled water into the small tube at the upper end (which is also the drainage end) of the catheter. This is to inflate the balloon at the tip of the catheter. The inflated balloon is meant to keep the catheter firmly in place.
Eighthly, you may gently tape the catheter to your body with the help of the medical tape. This is done as a precautionary measure to avoid any unnecessary movement of the drainage end of the catheter.
Finally, you should attach the drainage bag to the upper end of the catheter and strap it to your leg with the help of the elastic leg strap.
Precautionary measures after the insertion of the catheter:
It is imperative that those who are using bard catheters should ensure that they drink at least 8 ounces of water every 2 to 3 hours. Sufficient daily intake of fluids is necessary for: (i) making the urine dilute, and (ii) keeping the catheter drained at all times. Besides, it is advised that the bard catheter users should avoid taking any alcohol, tea, coffee and even soft drinks-as all these drinks might irritate the bladder and create additional problems.