Catheter cleaning for re-use in intermittent catheterization: new light on an old problem

SCI Nurs. 1995 Mar;12(1):10-2.


Clean intermittent catheterization is a common method of urinary elimination for people with Spinal Cord Injuries. The methods of catheter cleaning for re-use, however, have not been validated with research studies. This study compared the effectiveness of Hydrogen Peroxide, vinegar, dishwashing detergent, and tap water alone to clean catheters contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The effect of rinsing and drying before cleaning was also examined, as well as the effect of storage in paper or plastic bags after cleaning. Results indicated that rinsing and drying catheters immediately after use was the most effective at reducing bacteria to very near zero. Elements of a procedure are outlined, as well as plans for further development and testing of a rinse & dry procedure for catheter cleaning and re-use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catheters, Indwelling*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Equipment Reuse
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / nursing
  • Urinary Catheterization / instrumentation*