Advancements in Catheter Technology Bolstering Patient Care and Discreetness with Compact Catheters - Diane K Newman & Don Darais

May 17, 2023

Diane Newman, a Urologic Nurse Practitioner specializing in lower urinary tract dysfunction, engages in a detailed dialogue about compact catheters with Don Darais, Associate Director of US Marketing for ConvaTec. They explore the evolution of catheter technology and its impact on patient care, focusing on the discreetness and self-sufficiency offered by modern devices. Key features of the conversation include ConvaTec's 'Twist' catheter, designed specifically for women, and the 'GentleCath Air', a self-lubricating, sleekly designed catheter for men. Both products, designed with patient comfort and dignity in mind, highlight the company's commitment to 'forever caring'. These advancements in catheter technology underscore the progress in continence care, enabling patients to maintain an active, normal life while managing their bladder dysfunction.


Don Darais, Associate Director of U.S Marketing, Continence Care, ConvaTec, Oklahoma City, OK

Diane K Newman, DNP, ANP-BC, BCB-PMD, FAAN, Urologic Nurse Practitioner, Adjunct Professor of Urology in Surgery, Research Investigator Senior, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Former Co-Director of the Penn Center for Continence and Pelvic Health, Philadelphia, PA

Read the Full Video Transcript

Diane Newman: Another thing that we see with intermittent catheterization is the fact that people don't want other people to know they're catheterizing. Especially that catheterization, which you do intermittently, really promotes independence for you. And I think what's important is that, that we now have advanced technology, which really helps us be discreet about that. Going into the bathroom, a woman can go into the stall and catheterize, no one would know it. Same with a guy too. So we have some new products here for that discreetness or what we call compact catheters. This is one called the Twist, correct?

Don Darais: Mm-hmm. Yep.

Diane Newman: And this is actually for women. Now, our urethras are different? Us women have shorter urethras as opposed to males who have longer urethras because of course the urethra has to go through the penis. So we don't really need necessarily a long catheter when us women catheterize. And what's wonderful is that companies have come out with shorter length catheters is what we're saying. So this is actually called the Twist. And here you can see it's a 14 French, which is the most common sized catheter that we use as adults. And I want you to demonstrate this for us and show us exactly what this catheter can do.

Don Darais: Yeah. So this is a really great product. We get a lot of positive feedback from it. And it's actually one that whenever we go to trade shows and I set it down on our table, individuals always recognize it. But to your point, it's a Twist catheter. So you just twist the cap right off, you'll see that the funnel is ready to grab right there on the end of it's ready to go. What's great about this product is that whenever you pull the catheter out, you can see in there, there's a little ring, kind of see that ring in there. That ring ensures that the entire catheter gets lubricated from tip to funnel. And what's great about this as well is there's no mess. So if a patient drops this or they tip it upside down, nothing's going to come out of it. So it just ensures that a no mess catheterization process is there.

But again, pull it out, then you would insert the catheter, drain it, and then you were able to put the product right back into the tube. And then you would never know that this is a catheter. From what I hear of women, I know for sure in the men's restroom, there's never receptacles inside of the stalls. And so this is a great way that again, if somebody's using a product, they can put it back in the tube, put it back in their pocket, put it back in their purse, and then go on and throw it away on the outside of the stall.

Diane Newman: Yeah. So this is really a nice product. And one thing that we brought up, the fact it's a 14 French. And catheters, actually, the funnel, which is the drainage port of the catheter. So this is where the urine comes out. This goes into the bladder, is color-coded per size, and a 14 French is green color-coded. So that's what's nice about us. So you know what the size is as well as it's noted on the outside.

Now we talked a little bit about discreetness and the fact of people are independent when they're out there working, maybe traveling and they don't want to have to carry maybe a large package with them. And this is a nice product, Don, as far as for men, right?

Don Darais: Right.

Diane Newman: This product is for men. And tell us a little bit about this, it's a FeelClean™ product, and it's called the Air, right?

Don Darais: Mm-hmm.

Diane Newman: And you can see how discrete it is. It's interesting. It's a dark color. So actually, you can maybe match your pants, dark pants, no one know you have it. You can put it in your pocket, or in your coat, or in your coat pocket. So why don't you show us the features of this product?

Don Darais: This is our GentleCath Air. So this is our longer 16-inch catheter usually used for men. But you're right, we get tremendous feedback on the way that it looks. The box looks really sleek as well. But to your point, a lot of people really don't want other people to know that they're using intermittent catheters and understandably, especially in a public setting. So this offers men that discreetness that they can go out into a public, go to work, they could travel and know that that other people aren't going to know exactly that they have to use intermittent catheters. So this, it does have a water sachet for a fresh experience. So I always instruct patients just to stick their finger right there in the middle and burst it and hear that water burst.

Diane Newman: Let me stop you there, Don.

Don Darais: Yeah, go ahead.

Diane Newman: So what's important about it that this is self-lubricating, and there's a package in here that has fluid that has to come out to lubricate the catheter, right?

Don Darais: Exactly.

Diane Newman: And you see how he did that, just squeezing it like that, bursts it basically. And then of course, it lubricates the surface of the catheter, correct?

Don Darais: Right, exactly.

Diane Newman: Okay.

Don Darais: Yeah. So this is a hydrophilic catheter and similar to our Glide, this has FeelClean™ Technology in it. So the catheter hydrophilic properties are actually integrated into the material itself. So it actually ensures that it's a more lubricious product going in and out of the urethra to ensure there's less microtraumas, microtears happening throughout the cathing process.

So I would say patients burst that. And then this also has a sticky dot on the back. So you can just pull back the label there, and you'll see the little sticky section there. This is great for when patients are in a public setting. They can either stick it on the wall, they can stick it at home on their cabinet, and that way it frees up both of their hands. So they would just open this right here. So there's a finger loop, and you'll notice there's a very small little hole on the side here. And that was actually by design.

So what we did here was to ensure that if a patient is in a public setting and again, usually receptacles are not in stalls, that way they don't have extra pieces. You can rip it off of course if you'd like, but they don't have extra pieces. So for demo purposes, I'll just rip it off. So then it's really ready to go. All you have to do, and I always give a little tip here, just take your pointer finger and your thumb and just pinch and roll. And it just opens right up there. Create a little gap there so you can get your finger in.

And then what's great about this is every single time you'll see the catheter, you'll see the funnel and the sleeve is ready to go right inside of there. So that allows the patient to then pull the catheter out, use that sleeve as a barrier there. And then this is a great way just to do it this way so that way you can ensure... Again, both hands. I'm going to set this down here for a second. And then just like Diane was saying a moment ago, you want to adjust the anatomy upwards and then you can insert the catheter.

And then inchworm is a great technique that some patients use where they'll just go ahead and stick it in there, advance all the way, void into the toilet, and then they are ready to put it back in the packaging because, again, for a public setting, a lot of patients aren't going to have that receptacle inside of the toilet. So then they can go put it back into this package just like so. And what's great about this is it's resealable so they can go back out there and in confidence knowing that it's not going to drip or anything like that and go throw the catheter away.

Diane Newman: So it's important, I think, the discreetness of catheterization. I mean, that actually comes out in a lot of surveys when we ask patients what's important to them and they want to live a normal life. Yes, they have to catheterize themselves usually several times a day. We really recommend four to six times a day, depending on whether they urinate a little bit. But they really need to catheterize to really get that bladder empty, to drain all that urine out. But they don't want people to know, and they're more active, they're in the workforce, they want to go on vacation, they want to travel. So discreetness is really important. So it's really nice that we have more and more products that really promote that independence so that you can live as normal life as you can.
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