Uncoated Catheters - Diane Newman

July 2, 2022

In this short demonstration video, Diane Newman shares two types of uncoated catheters used for intermittent self-catheterization when an individual has issues with urinary retention.  Uncoated catheters require lubrication to be applied to them prior to application to prevent trauma to the urethra. Also in this video, Diane shows the Twist by Cure Medical catheter, a shorter catheter for women with shorter urethras than males. 


Diane K. Newman, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, Adjunct Professor of Urology in Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Former Co-Director of the Penn Center for Continence and Pelvic Health. She is the author of several books. The most recent is as lead editor of the 1st edition of the SUNA Core Curriculum for Urologic Nursing and of Clinical Application of Urologic Catheters, Devices, and Products.

Read the Full Video Transcript

Diane Newman: I'm Diane Newman. I'm a nurse practitioner, and I specialize in urology. Urology is a specialty that treats men and women who have bladder problems. Specifically, today, what I want to talk about is those individuals who cannot empty their bladder. They can't pee normally. They retain some in their bladder. If that happens, you may have something we call urinary retention, caused by a lot of different problems such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury. That's just to name a few. If you cannot get rid of all the urine in your bladder, you have to catheterize using a catheter, so I'm going to show you some other components of these catheters.

What I have here is products by two companies, Cure Medical and Convatec. There are many companies that make products, catheters. This happens to be the two I'm showing. This is what we call an uncoated catheter. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, there are catheters that are made that have no type of coating. What's important about that is that you want some form of lubrication whenever you put that catheter in your bladder, especially men who have really long urethras. Because if you don't slide this catheter smoothly into your bladder, you can traumatize or injure the walls of the urethra, which is the tube that carries the urine from your bladder to the outside, and that's what the catheter goes through.

But what you'll do if you're using an uncoated catheter is that you will add lubrication to it. We recommend a satchel of water soluble lubricant, which is placed... and this is important, especially for men... on the entire length of the catheter. You want to make sure there's lubrication along this entire length when you put it in. That's what you would do with a non-coated product.

Now, there are also coated catheters, and those are very popular. Coated catheters means that the coating is done prior to you removing the catheter from the sleeve of it, or from the packaging. Here's a couple that I want to show you. Again, on the outside, we say this is a 14 French, it's a Cure Medical catheter. It has hydrophilic coat. Now, that's a term that we use for catheters, because hydrophilic is very friendly to our bodily fluids, the lining of the urethra, which is the tube from the bladder.

As you see with this catheter is that we have the catheter here. It's a long catheter, so a man would use this type of catheter. A woman could use it also, but the length is perfect for a male patient. This is actually the lubrication, it's a satchel that's inside the packaging. Prior to opening it, what you want to do is you want to break that, because that'll lubricate the catheter. You want to fold it and squeeze it. I don't know if you heard that, but actually, if you can see all the fluid is coming out, lubricating this catheter. Once that's done, you will open it up, and remove it, and perform the catheterization. Now, this catheter, you see this has a little sleeve on it. Sometimes it's called a finger grip, I'm not touching the catheter. You can see the tip is a straight catheter. You can see that lubrication here so that you can very easily catheterize yourself with this catheter, because it has lubrication.

I want to show you another hydrophilic catheter. This one is by Convatec. It's called the GentleCath. As you can see, it says GentleCath hydrophilic intermittent urinary catheter, so this is a catheter for the bladder. It's called intermittent, which means it's used intermittently to drain your bladder, to drain that urine out of your bladder. These are discarded after, especially the hydrophilic ones. You will throw them away. You should not reuse these types of catheters. Hydrophilic catheters should not be reused.

As you can see, it also tells you information about the sizing. It's a 14 French, and we know that because the funnel is green. It has what we call a finger grip, so I don't have to touch the catheter. I can just hold this and slide it along when I put it into the bladder. Here is a packaging of fluid that once you break it, it activates the coating of this catheter so that it becomes lubricated so that you can pass it very safely into your bladder. How do you activate that fluid? What you do is you bend this right where that satchel is of fluid, and you squeeze it. I don't know if you heard that there was a little swish, and as you can see, that fluid has come down into the packaging. There's no mess here. It's coated, the coating of that surface of that catheter.

What we're going to do now, is going to open it up. All right, you will open it from the top, and take it out, and then catheterize it. Now, you can see this one is a straight tip. Look at how that has coated that very nicely. This is a nice catheter. It's going to be smooth as it goes through the urethra. That's so very important. You don't want to traumatize your urethra. You want to have lubrication, and this, basically, will have that lubrication for you to safely catheterize.

Now, I want to show you one other kind of catheter. We do have the shorter catheters for women. This is called the Twist by Cure Medical. Basically, it's a very simple type of shorter catheter for those women. Remember us women have shorter urethras. You can see here, we just basically have a shorter urethra, whereas men have a much longer urethra because the urethra goes through the penis. What I want to show you is that this short one is also lubricated. Now, you don't have to do anything as far as breaking any water satchel to activate that coating on the catheter. It's called the Twist. You just twist it off, and you just take it out, and you can see the coating, that this catheter has coating to it. Then you can catheterize.

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