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Reducing the risk of urinary tract infections in intermittent self-catheterisation users

23 June 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 12

For every person presented with the prospect of performing intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC), the fear of urinary tract infection (UTI) is not unfounded. Indeed, the average rate of UTI in ISC users may be as high as 2.5 per year (Vahr et al, 2013). A powerful adjunct for essential bladder management, ISC is vital to keep post-void residuals low while promoting self-esteem, discretion, independence and sexual freedom. ISC carries a much lower risk of UTIs than indwelling catheters (Kinnear et al, 2020) but unfortunately the concomitant UTI risk of using ISC exists nonetheless.

Although health professionals may be well versed in the benefits of ISC over indwelling catheters, patients may need a great deal of information to understand and fully embrace the technique in order to appropriately manage their bladder. When that information includes advice about managing UTI risk, the patient is more likely to adopt good therapeutic practices and adhere to their management plan.

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