Glossary of Terms


Anti-bacterial Coated Catheter: Antibacterial-coated intermittent catheters give all the benefits of an intermittent catheter along with an outside layer of nitrofurazone, an antibacterial agent proven to fight pathogens known to cause urinary tract infections (UTI’s)

Catheter Kits: Catheter kits provide a user everything needed to perform catheterization in one convenient, sterile container

Closed System Catheters: Closed system catheters include a pre-lubricated, intermittent catheter inside a sterile collection bag with an introducer tip at the end. These catheters provide offer the user no touch catheterization that can help reduce the risk of UTI’s

Coude Tip Catheter: Coude tip intermittent catheters have a slightly curved tip with small eyelets at the end to allow for urination flow. As with all intermittent catheters, coude tip catheters should be removed after each time the bladder is emptied

Drainage Bag: A drainage bag is a bag used to collect fluids drained by use of a catheter; these can either be a leg bag or large draining bags

External (Condom) Catheter: Condom catheters are the most common type of external catheter, also known as a Texas Catheter or Urisheath Catheter. Unlike other types of catheters which are inserted into the urethra, the condom catheter wraps around the penis, connects to a tube, and drains to a leg bag which is often strapped onto the inner thigh

Hydrophilic Coated Catheter: Hydrophilic coated catheters are a popular type of intermittent catheters that have a pre-lubricated, slippery surface that when activated, provide an easier, more comfortable insertion and removal

Indwelling (Foley) Catheter: Indwelling, or Foley, catheters work on a two-channel system: one channel runs the entire length of the tube and is open at both ends to allow the urine to drain from the bladder to the urinary drainage bag; the other channel is one-way which leads to a balloon filled with sterilized water to keep the catheter inside of the bladder and from slipping out. These catheters usually stay in the bladder for an extended amount of time and are inserted and removed by a physician rather than the user

Intermittent Catheter: Instead of being worn for an entire day like with indwelling catheters, intermittent catheters are only inserted at designated urination times and can be disposed of after use

Large Drainage Bag: bigger, so you can go extended periods of time without worrying about your bag overfilling; cover a wider array of bag types including night drainage bags, bedside bags, and wheelchair bags

Latex-free Catheter: Latex-free catheters are great for patients who may have an allergy to latex materials. Latex-free catheters are available in a range of stiffness and because of their firm material, may be easier for some patients to insert.

Leg Bag: most useful during the day when you are out and about because they are smaller, more discreet, and are easily attached to your leg with straps; they are designed to comfortably fit under your clothes, making them virtually invisible

Olive Tip Catheter: Olive tip catheters are a type of coude tip catheter with a slight curve towards the end. Olive tip catheters come with a small bulb attached to the curved end which assists in navigating the catheter through tight or restrictive spaces

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)  Catheter: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) catheters are more firm than rubber catheters, but have more flexibility than silicone catheters. These catheters are good for patients who may need a slightly stiffer material than available with rubber catheters, have a latex allergy or who have an enlarged prostate

Rubber Catheter: Rubber catheters, typically referred to as Red Rubber catheters, are among the most prescribed catheter types. These catheters are suitable for male or female catheterization and are more flexible and soft than some of the other types of catheters. Because of their flexibility, rubber catheters can be challenging for some patients to insert. This type of catheter does contain latex so if you have an allergy to latex, it is best to opt for another material for your catheter

Silicone Catheter: Silicone catheters have been shown to be more compatible with the urethral tissue than latex based catheters. This compatibility can lead to lessened aggravation of the urethra and reduced incidence of urethritis. Silicone catheters also feature thinner walls which can result in greater flow, an advantage to catheter users who suffer from blog clots or sediment in their urine. Silicone catheters may be firmer than latex catheters, which some patients say can cause discomfort at insertion

Straight Tip Catheter: Straight tip intermittent catheters are catheters that have a straight tip with no curved or bent end. As with all intermittent catheters, straight tip intermittent catheters are removed and changed frequently throughout the day

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs within part of the urinary system such as the kidneys, bladder, ureters, or urethra

Urinary Catheter: a flexible plastic tube used to drain urine from your bladder when you cannot urinate by yourself; the catheter connects to the bladder by insertion through the urethra, the opening that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body

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