Types of catheters, its uses and complications

Types of catheters, its usesandcomplications

Types of catheters, its uses and complications

Catheters are slim and flexible tubes which transport fluids in and out of the human body. There are two types of catheters, urinary and intravenous (IV). Both serve distinct purposes and have their own set of complications. Let’s take an in-depth look at each of them.

Urinary catheters:

If anyone has problems urinating or can’t control while urinating, this device is placed in the bladder to make urine flow out of the body. Depending on patient health and the level of assistance needed for urination, there are multiple types of catheters used. They are as follows:

  • Intermittent: This can be used any time, or at a scheduled time, whenever the bladder gets full. It goes inside the urethra and helps in draining the bladder.
  • Indwelling: This is also known as a Foley catheter. It’s a small balloon filled with water with one end inside the bladder. The other end consists of a bag which collects the drained urine. The bag is fixed, either on the leg or hangs by the bed. This device must be changed every 3 months.
  • Suprapubic: This type is placed inside the bladder via an entrance made in the stomach, a little below the belly-button.
  • Condom catheter: This device is wrapped around the penis. It has a covering which is similar to a condom and a tube transports the urine into a bag.

However, some of the complications using this equipment are as follows:

  • Infection is the most common problem associated with this device because viruses can easily enter the body through it. It can also lead to contamination of the kidneys, urethra, and bladder. If the patient suffers from the following, they should immediately contact a doctor:
    • Pain in stomach or groin
    • Have fever and chills
  • Leakage is another problem with this device. This indicates that the equipment is blocked, either due to a blood clot or debris. This issue commonly occurs while using the indwelling type of catheter.
  • If the bladder attempts to push out the device, it can result in bladder spasms.

IV catheters:

This medical device is used to put medicine and other fluids into the bloodstream. It is divided into two types:

  • Peripheral venous: This type is used for short duration IV. It’s connected with a vein in the hands, foot, or forearm. It is the cheapest and simplest device category among IV catheters. The equipment can be used for 4 days, after which it must be replaced.
  • Central venous: If IV is required for a longer time, then this medical equipment is used. It is placed in the neck, leg, arm, or the top region of the chest. It is linked to one of the prominent veins which go in and out of the heart.

Some of the problems associated with this device are:

  • It may damage the veins.
  • Cause blood leakage leading to bruises.
  • The device can cut the lungs resulting in organ collapse.
  • The heart can go off its rhythm due to the placing of the device.

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