A Bardex® catheter is enhanced silicone tubing that is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder. It is used to either drain the bladder of urine or to fill the bladder with fluids for medial testing. This catheter has a specialized protective coating to prevent infection. A combination of silver alloy and hydrogel coatings are used to dramatically reduce the risk of urinary infections associated with long-term catheter use. A Bardex® catheter has a small inflatable balloon on the end of the tubing that holds it in place within the bladder.
Biofilms are microorganisms that can attach themselves to the urethral wall and promote bacteria growth. If this happens while using a urinary catheter, it can result in a urinary tract infection. The bladder and urethra becomes inflamed and the symptoms include pain and burning during urination, foul smelling urine, and a frequent urgent sensation to urinate. A Bardex® catheter minimizes the adherence of the biofilms, so that the risk is also lowered for acquiring a urinary tract infection.
Irritation of the urethral mucosa is another problem associated with long-term catheter use. When this happens, the wall of the urethra becomes irritated because the silicone tubing constantly rubs against it. This can also cause pain and discomfort. The Bardex® catheter contains hydrophilic polymer and silicone- elastomer coatings that provide the right amount of lubrication to the urethral area. This can reduce these irritating symptoms and eliminate discomfort.
The Bardex® catheter can also eliminate the possibility of an allergic reaction. Using a leaching process, the maximum amount of allergens is removed from the latex used in making the catheter. There have been no confirmed reports of allergy related reactions to the Bardex® catheter and this makes it safe for people who have latex allergies.
Catheters can either be used for a short period of time to perform medical tests or for a short hospital stay. They can also be used long term, for patients with urinary conditions. Long-term Bardex® catheter users should follow guidelines to avoid getting urinary tract infections.
Wearing cotton underwear allows air flow to the catheter area and helps to keep it dry. While adjusting or caring for the Bardex® catheter, the hands and skin surrounding the area should be thoroughly cleaned. The urine bag attached to the catheter should always hang lower than the bladder area, to make sure the urine flows into the bag.