How your catheter passport can help you
The purpose of your catheter passport is to list the individuals involved in the care of your catheter. Follow the guidelines in your catheter passport to improve self-care and reduce your risk of urinary tract infections.
In 2012, the NHS reviewed the patient pathway process from diagnosis to referral and after a diagnosis. Subsequently, a ‘no decision without me’ strategy was launched, which encouraged a greater involvement of patients in their care. Accessible information and joint decision making were considered highly important. The introduction of the catheter passport followed this trajectory, succeeding a wider implementation plan that bridged the gap between a patient and their healthcare professionals.
In the UK and around the world, catheters have helped millions of patients empty their bladder easily and with minimum discomfort, so much so that many catheter users consider catheterisation a liberating experience. But it does take time to adjust, especially at the beginning. To facilitate this process, every catheter user in the UK is given a catheter passport, which aims to improve continence management and reduce catheter-related infections, leading to a better quality of life.
The contents of your catheter passport
A catheter passport is a printed booklet that acts as an instruction manual for catheter care and as a clinical record between you and your nurse or doctor. The term ‘passport’ refers to the way in which the document travels with you throughout your catheterisation journey.
A catheter passport includes what a catheter is, why you need one inserted, and how you should look after it. The passport should be easily incorporated into your care plan, providing an easy-to-read record of your time as a catheter user.
The NHS states that the passport is for you and/or anyone else involved in the care of your catheter. When your catheter is inserted, you will be given your catheter passport. Every time you attend the hospital for a catheter change or any other reason, you must bring it with you. The passport contains a record section at the back which must be filled out by the healthcare professional attending to you in each visit. This will allow you to track your catheter journey.
The catheter passport will typically include:
- Basic catheter information: this includes details on the different types of catheter and the insertion process.
- Dos and don’ts: advice on dietary habits, water consumption, sexual information and hygiene procedures.
- A hand washing guide: a step-by-step visual aid on how to decontaminate hands.
- Things to look out for: guidance on the early warning signs of a UTI, such as high temperature and foul-smelling urine.
- Important websites and phone numbers.
- A patient and healthcare record section: including dates of appointments, problems faced and joint action plans.
Once you are familiar with the passport system, you will become more confident in self-monitoring and caring for your catheter.
Why is the catheter passport important?
A patient’s catheter needs to be reviewed regularly and removed once it reaches the end of its lifespan (on the 10th week for indwelling and suprapubic catheters) or when you are suffering from catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) and your medical professionals deem it is necessary to remove it.
With details about your specific need for catheterisation, maintenance, medical changes, CAUTI management, and even accidental removals meticulously recorded in your catheter passport, your healthcare providers can supervise your condition suitably. Furthermore, the passport also gives you a sense of inclusion in your catheter management plan.
Reducing CAUTIs is one of the major driving forces behind the launch of catheter passport. CAUTIs represent a significant financial burden. According to NICE guidelines, a single episode of a catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection can cost the NHS an average of £1,968. When a patient is more informed about proper catheter care, the risk of infection decreases.
What are CAUTIs and what else can you do?
Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections or CAUTIs are caused by bacteria that accumulate on the catheter before entering the body. Even with diligent care, it is highly challenging for healthcare providers and patients to completely prevent bacteria from accumulating, let alone limit their complications.
Scientists and medical professionals around the world have been researching for ways to reduce CAUTIs, particularly among patients with indwelling and suprapubic catheters. A breakthrough came when scientists realised that they could use low-frequency ultrasonic waves to subtly vibrate the catheter, thereby preventing bacteria from forming, adhering to the catheter, entering the body and causing infections. The result is a small, non-intrusive device called UroShield.
The low-intensity, painless waves generated by UroShield also eliminate blockages and encrustation caused by crystallised mineral salts. The waves and gentle vibrations are also effective at reducing the risk of bladder pain and spasms.
UroShield is backed by years of clinical studies and solid data. Patients across the UK who have used UroShield report how the device has helped to reduce CAUTIs dramatically and improve the quality of life. Other reported benefits include: no or reduced catheter blockage, no or reduced bladder spasms, as well as no or reduced catheter-related pain. You can follow this link to the testimonials page and read some amazing stories shared by our patients.
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If you would like to know more about UroShield and what it can do for you, get in touch on 020 8773 7844 or fill out our Online Form.
This post is not health advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current healthcare issues.