Understanding Catheters From Care To Cost

Catheters are not easy to discuss, for a number of reasons. Despite the fact that countless people across the world use catheters, both short-term and long-term, a lot of embarrassment surrounds this particular medical device. For roughly 3,500 years, people have been using some form of catheter or another to empty their bladders when a medical issue prevents them from doing so independently — but many do not know how exactly catheters work, or for that matter why people might need them. The lack of education about catheters also leads to people misusing them, as well as spending more than they need to on catheters and related medical supplies.

People shouldn’t be afraid of or embarrassed by catheters — nor should they feel as if maintaining long term catheter care will drain their bank accounts. When it comes to free catheters Medicare can sometimes be an option; with that being said, before looking up “free catheters Medicare” online, you should begin with educating yourself on why catheter care sometimes becomes necessary, and how it works.

Long-Term Versus Short-Term Catheter Usage

So — why do people need catheters in the first place? Catheters can be required for a number of different reasons. Catheters are used for short-term and long-term care. If a patient is given a spinal block of any kind at a hospital, they are usually given a catheter because they lose control of their bladders temporarily. Catheter care usually isn’t really up to in patients; nurses and other hospital employees take care of them. It’s when a catheter is required at home that the issue can become a bit more complicated. Long-term catheters can be required for months or even years; in some cases, patients may need to use them permanently.

Why Catheters Become Necessary

Kidney disease often leads to the needs for a catheter, as unhealthy kidneys often imepde the bladder’s ability to function properly. If a patient’s kidney disease progresses to the point that they require a kidney transplant, catheters shouldn’t be needed following the transplant — but until then, they are usually necessary. Yet disease isn’t the only reason why someone might need a catheter — urinary incontinence increases as people age, and the very elderly may need catheters to function in every day life. It’s estimated that 14% of individuals age 65 to 69 suffer from incontinence, while 45% of those 85 or older suffer from incontinence, making catheters nan everyday need. Catheters are not always used to empty the bladder, however.One of the conditions that is often treated with a catheter is Painful Bladder Syndrome, or PBS. This condition — which can severely limit a person’s quality of life — is usually treated with either oral medication or a bladder installation. A bladder installation actually delivers medication to the bladder through a catheter, demonstrating a different usage for this medical device.

Delving Into Catheter Care

Catheters, understandably, require constant upkeep and care. If improperly maintained, these medical devices could cause severe complications for the people using them. Fortunately, they’re not overly complicated. Make sure to go over catheter care with a medical professional, and keep in mind the basics. Be careful to empty your leg bag when it is half-full; this would require emptying it at least twice a day. When it’s time to sleep, you should remove your leg bag and replace it with a drainage bag. Your leg bag should be rinsed with one part vinegar and three parts water. It should be soaked for twenty minutes before being hung up to dry.

Understanding Medicare Coverage For Catheters

Finally — when researching free catheters Medicare is likely the main source you’ll come across. Though common medical supplies are not covered by Medicare, when it comes to free catheters Medicare is a potential option, as it does cover durable medical equipment. However, you should look into your specific coverage before assuming that it will give you access to free catheters. Free medical supply samples are also made available by some companies or doctors’ offices — don’t turn down a medical necessity due to funding issues.

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