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Re-using hydrophillic catheters

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  • Re-using hydrophillic catheters

    At one point a few months ago I was in a pinch for a few days, and I just used one hydrophilic catheter per day (speedecath by coloplast) and my "sanitation" technique was to just run it under scalding faucet water for a minute or so, let it just cool down and then stick it in...

    Obviously not ideal, but I didn't get a UTI from that little experiment and still got all of the luxuriously slick treatment that makes a hydrophilic catheter such a treat. I can feel down there, so this is very important to me.

    Anyhoo, I just wanted to compare notes and see if anyone makes a habit of re-using hydrophilic catheters on a regular basis and if they have any techniques to share.
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  • #2
    yeah, i reuse my speedicaths. i start with a new clean one each day, i reuse it 5-6 times. i run under tap water after use, not before.

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    • #3
      I'm not sure what hydrophilic means, but I've been reusing my caths for years. I bought a screen that I put on the top rack of my dishwasher and hang the caths through the holes in the screen. Put a little soap and bleach in there and let it run on the heaviest wash setting. It takes a couple hours every month but I save on money and have much less waste.

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      • #4
        Hydrophilic is the only type that works for me. When I'm at work, I'll rinse with water and keep the two that I use during working hours in my urinal. When I get home, I wash with a drop of liquid soup inside and out. Spin dry, then I put them on a small hook to air dry. The next day, I'll slip these back into the wrapper they came in for re-use. I'll usually use one 3 times then discard. Been doing this for a few years with no problems.
        KB

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        • #5
          Micah D - so you rinse it off and then leave it in the saline solution it came in?

          Brian - hydrophilic catheters have a coating on them that make every single inch of it slippery, which makes it considerably less painful to slide in. The difference is magical, I've found. Moreover, they are made of somewhat stiffer plastic which means that you can hold it at the far end of the side that doesn't go in and then stick the whole thing in without your fingers getting involved too much. That way you don't have to keep sanitary hands at all times (I did a lot of backcountry camping this summer, and it was nearly impossible to keep them clean, let alone sterile).

          I was just unsure of whether or not the hydrophilic coating degraded over time or leeched something weird.

          To those of you that re-use them, have you ever re-used them significantly more than a handful of times? How many have you gotten away with?
          L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

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          • #6
            Is there a huge difference between hydrophillic and regular? What is the difference? How are they lubricated?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by new dimension View Post
              Is there a huge difference between hydrophillic and regular? What is the difference? How are they lubricated?
              The hydrophillic coated caths attract the water they are packed in to the outside of the catheter, so no extra/other lube is needed. They are uber slick and are much more comfortable and easier to use.

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              • #8
                I thought they lost slickness once they were used once. Good to know if i run out of fresh ones

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                • #9
                  cost

                  Is there a huge cost difference?

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                  • #10
                    quad?

                    Are they hard to handle as a quad? Limited hand mobility....

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shveddy View Post
                      To those of you that re-use them, have you ever re-used them significantly more than a handful of times? How many have you gotten away with?
                      This experience is a couple of decades ago, but they did become less slippery after a couple of days. My memory was they did not respond well to using personal lubricant in an attempt to keep using them after they were had too much friction to use. No recent experience, but I am very encouraged by the folks who are reusing them for a day.
                      T4 complete, 150 ft fall, 1966. Completely fused hips, partially fused knees and spine, heterotopic ossification. Unsuccessful DREZ surgery about 1990. Successful bladder augmentation using small intestine about 1992. Normal SCI IC UTI problems culminating in a hospital stay in 2001. No antibiotics or doctor visits for UTI since 2001: d-mannose. Your mileage may vary.

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