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External Catheters Linked with decreased UTI Risk in Men

ers to experience bacteriuria, symptomatic UTI, or death. For patients with dementia, this difference was not seen.

The impact of dementia, Saint says, might be linked to the tendency of cognitively impaired men to touch or try to remove their catheters -- which results in the nurse having to clean the area and change the device. This can disturb the bacteria in the area and lead to infection.

In addition to being associated with a lower risk of infection, the condom catheters were much better liked than the indwelling ones, the study showed. Nearly 90 percent of the condom catheter users said the device was comfortable and only 5 percent said they were painful, compared with about 58 percent and 36 percent, respectively, for indwelling catheter users.

The study did not address the cost-effectiveness of using the more expensive condom catheters, which allow for a secure fit, are less likely to fall off than other kinds of condom catheters, and can be used for 48 hours. But Saint suspects that by reducing the incidence of bacteriuria, symptomatic UTI, and death, the extra expense up front will pay for itself in the end. The condom catheters in the study were donated by their manufacturer, Mentor Corporation, along with a research grant to Lipsky, but the company had no role in designing, conducting or analyzing the results of the study.

Already, Saint says, the results of the study have affected his decisions on the inpatient floors of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. 'This has changed my own management of patients, to the point where if a patient is cognitively intact, won't remove the catheter, and doesn't have a medical reason for an indwelling catheter, I will choose a condom catheter for him,’ he says. He notes that patients with urinary tract obstructions, such as prostate problems, cannot use condom catheters. Neither can patients who received certain anesthetics or those in intensive-care units who require close urin
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