Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating life events an individual can experience, with far-reaching implications on mobility, sensory function, and bodily control. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, patients may experience a range of symptoms, from partial loss of motor functions to complete paralysis. One common challenge is the loss of control over bladder and bowel functions, which necessitates specialized care.
Challenges for patients
Loss of bladder control is often a significant concern for those with spinal cord injuries. The condition, known as neurogenic bladder, leads to a lack of voluntary control over urination, which can result in urinary incontinence or urinary retention. This can severely impact an individual's quality of life, social interactions, and even mental well-being. Additionally, there's an increased risk of urinary tract infections, which can have more serious implications for individuals with compromised mobility.
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When it comes to managing bladder issues associated with spinal cord injuries, catheters play a crucial role. Intermittent catheterization is commonly recommended to assist with scheduled voiding, thus minimizing the risks of incontinence and urinary tract infections. Hydrophilic or pre-lubricated catheters like the GentleCath Glide can make the self-catheterization process easier and more comfortable. For those unable to perform self-catheterization, indwelling catheters or even more advanced options like suprapubic catheters may be considered.