|Where There Is No Doctor - A Village Health Care Handbook (Hesperian Foundation, 1993, 516 p.)|
|Chapter 18 - THE URINARY SYSTEM AND THE GENITALS|
When to use and when not to use a catheter:
· Never use a catheter unless it is absolutely necessary and it is impossible to get medical help in time. Even careful use of a catheter sometimes causes dangerous infection or damages the urinary canal.
· If any urine is coming out at all, do not use the catheter.
· If the person cannot urinate, first have him try to urinate while sitting in a tub of warm water. Begin the recommended medicine (for gonorrhea or prostate trouble) at once.
· If the person has a very full, painful bladder and cannot urinate, or if he or she begins to show signs of poisoning from urine, then and only then use a catheter.
Signs of urine poisoning (uremia):
· The breath smells like urine.
· The feet and face swell.
· Vomiting, distress, confusion.
Note: People who have suffered from difficulty urinating, enlarged prostate, or kidney stones should buy a catheter and keep it handy in case of emergency.
HOW TO PUT IN A CATHETER
Note: A woman's urinary tube is much shorter than a man's.
Important: If the person shows signs of urine poisoning, or if the bladder has been over-full and stretched, do not let the urine come out all at once: instead, let it out very slowly (by pinching or plugging the catheter), little by little over an hour or 2.
Sometimes a woman cannot urinate after giving birth. If more than 6 hours pass and her bladder seems full, she may need a catheter put in. If her bladder does not feel full, do not use a catheter but have her drink lots of water.
For more information on catheter use, see Disabled Village Children, Chapter 25.