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Express Medical Supply's Intermittent Catheter Guide


Express Medical Supply's Intermittent Catheter Guide

Have you recently started using intermittent catheters? This guide by Express Medical Supply will help you learn about the different types of catheter materials and whether or not you need a straight or coude tip.

PR Newswire

ST. LOUIS, July 25, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- For more information on catheters please read our full guide to urinary intermittent catheters on our Express Medical Supply blog.

Intermittent catheters are not all made the same. They don't come in a box marked one type fits all. The tips of the catheters vary and the materials they are made of vary as well. When you purchase intermittent catheters you will have to choose between different ones and that is easier if you know what the choices are before you buy your own catheters. There are several different styles of intermittent catheters and those styles do serve different purposes. If you need to use medical supplies as a part of your daily life it is important that you know what they are and how they work. You will want the intermittent catheter that works the best for your individual health needs.

What are the different kinds of intermittent urinary catheters?

  • Coude Catheter is a catheter that has a bent tip for ease of insertion around an enlarged prostate or other obstructions, the angle of the bend can vary.
  • Coude Olive Tip Catheter is a type of coude tip intermittent catheter that bends slightly as it tapers down to a tip with a small rounded ball on the end for insertion around an enlarged prostate or strictures, the ball on the end can feel more comfortable for you if using a standard coude catheter hasn't been able to maneuver around your prostate easily.
  • Coude Tiemann Catheter is a type of coude tip catheter with a longer thin tapered tip that is small and rounded at the end for ease of insertion around strictures and/or an enlarged prostate, this style can be great for when a regular coude tip isn't working well for you and you would like a more narrow tip to your catheter.
  • Straight Tip Catheter is an intermittent catheter that has a straight tip that does not have any bend to it, this is the standard straight catheter design that is used unless there is a problem with insertion. These standard catheters are less expensive when compared to any of the coude tip catheters.

What are catheters made of?
There are three main materials used to make urinary intermittent catheters, red rubber, silicone, and vinyl also known as PVC. These materials feel different when they are used. Some are firmer and others are more flexible.

Pliability and flexibility of intermittent catheter materials:

  • Softest = Red Rubber
  • Medium = Silicone
  • Firmest = PVC/Vinyl

There are exceptions to the above list, for instance if it is specifically labeled "soft silicone catheter" could be softer than one of the firmer red rubber varieties. For the most part though, this is a good place to start when it comes to understanding which Intermittent catheter is more pliable.

Silicone Catheters Feature:

  • Latex-free clear catheter, this is the best choice if you are allergic to latex.
  • Standard firmness as well as soft varieties are available.
  • Pre-lubricated hydrophilic or the less expensive non-lubricated variety.
  • Some companies like to incorporate polished eyelets for ease of use in their silicone catheters.

Red Rubber Catheters Feature:

  • Latex rubber and they are not suitable for anyone who is allergic or even sensitive to latex.
  • Generally red in color but they are also found in reddish brown and orange as well.
  • Red rubber catheters are not clear, they are opaque, which means you can't see through them.
  • The entire catheter is one piece of red rubber, the funnel is integrated and it is not color coded.
  • These catheter are soft, pliable, and flexible.
  • Eyelets are not polished but they are available with one eyelet, staggered eyelets, or the standard eyelet style.

PVC/Vinyl Catheters Feature:

  • PVC stands for Polyvinyl chloride, which is why it is called "vinyl" for short.
  • The Smooth surface is available in clear like silicone catheters and red like red rubber catheters. Always read the description to make sure you are getting the catheter you want.
  • PVC/vinyl tends to be a firmer catheter.
  • Vinyl warms to your body like red rubber but it isn't as flexible as red rubber.
  • Some vinyl catheters have color coded funnels that can make it easier to double check that you have the correct catheter size.
  • PVC/vinyl is also available without a funnel end.
  • Eyelets on vinyl catheters can be fire polished and smoothed or they can be cold pressed, always ask if the catheter you are buying has polished eyelets because the polishing makes catheter insertion much more comfortable.


SOURCE Express Medical Supply, Inc.

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