CIC with Red Rubber Catheters. A trip back in time.

Edited , 9 users are following.

As many here know, I am a big fan of the Coloplast Speedicath, a single use hydrophillic catheter. That said, I recently ordered some red rubber samples to try out. The idea was that if I ever ran out of Speedicath's, it might be a good idea to have some red rubbers at home, since they are reusable.

I'm not a stranger to red rubbers, since they were the ones my first cath PA gave me. But it's been awhile. It's actually been quite awhile, so long awhile that after awkwardly lubing the tip, I tried a "dive bomb" only to remember that red rubbers don't dive bomb, not stiff enough. Me bad. So that catheter went into the sink for future cleaning.

Then I remembered that unlike with the Speedicath's I needed to thread the red rubbers in using my hand. Hand washing should be sufficient, but after using a

no-touch dive bomb for all these years, the idea of touching the catheter didn't sit well, so I hunted around for a pair of surgical gloves and fortunately found a few in the back of my supply case. They were not in a sterile pack, so I generously doused them in hand sanitizer, probably not the best idea since alcohol can sting, but that's what I did.

So then I tried again, and things finally worked as they should, just a lot slower with a lot more steps, and of course with external lube. I definitely will keep some red rubbers around for the eventuality that one day I might run out of the single use Speedicaths, perhaps not packing enough in a travel situation, but I don't look forward to using them at all. The stiffer single use hydrophillic catheters like Speedicath have spoiled me.

That said, practice makes perfect, and I'm sure if I kept at it, things would go smoother and faster with the red rubbers. And if I didn't have insurance to cover

the hydrophilics, red rubbers might become my first choice.

Jim

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  • Edited

    Jim,

    When I use the red rubber catheters I wipe them down with an alcohol wipe first, and let it dry. The last thing I do, before inserting, is wash my palms and fingertips with alcohol. Then dry the alcohol by swinging the hands forward and back 15 to 20 times. The problem with hand sanitizer is oil is mixed in with it. If the oil gets into the urethra it will probably stay behind when you pull it out. Any germs in with it will also stay behind. That is why you are supposed to use water soluble lube, so the next time you urinate it will be washed out. I always wash the catheters afterwards with antibacterial soap, running a couple drops of the soap inside with water. Some people store the red rubber catheters in a alcohol filled jar. I made a hanger for them with a piece of wood and brass screw eyes.

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    • Posted

      Hi Thomas & Charles,

      What is the reason for you to use reusable catheters ? I buy very inexpensive silicone catheters online, Cure at US40c or McKesson 30c a piece. At this cost, I'd rather skip the hassle of cleaning. I can also use them with the dive bomb method which increases the cleanliness. Hank

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    • Posted

      Hank,

      I haven't used the red rubber caths for about 6 months, I was alternating them with the speedicaths because they are softer. I am traveling now so will probably have to use them when I run out of the Speedicaths.

      Thomas

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    • Edited

      The Cure and McKesson I mentioned above are very soft, just not as soft as the rubber. What Speedicath are you using ? Some are soft like the Coude Flex Pro or the Compact that I like. The hydrophilic ones in green pouches are too stiff, gave me all kind of problems. Hank

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    • Posted

      FWIW, I prefer the stiffness of the SpeediCath standard FR14 as they are easier to use than the softer, more flexible caths that require more coaxing to insert. I did try the Cure...but the lube packet and sleeve were a bit of a hassle compared to the ease and convenience of the SpeediCath.

      Fortunately, Medicare covers the cost of the SpeediCath which is currently just over $2 each.

      Patrick

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    • Edited

      Patrick, I used those green pouched Speedicath for 3 years so I know them well. I still have boxes of them, unused. Their stiffness make them easier to insert but also make them more easily to cause injuries, and I had my share of that. I'd rather spend a little more time to avoid potential injuries. BTW, if you graduated from Jimjames academy 😀, you should be able to dive bomb with a 14fr Cure easily. I'd just throw away the sleeves. Hank

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    • Posted

      I agree with Patrick. I have tried just about every catheter out there. In my case Speedicath FR12 coude works best, although in the beginning I used FR14 which was easier to navigate. No issues for over 4 years. And like Patrick, I had issues with the softer catheters which tend to stick more in y anatomy, thereby creating more friction for me and in at least one case a UTI.

      I think we all have to be very careful making global statements about catheter choices such as one catheter or another makes it easier to injure yourself. It is doing our members a disservice equating personal experience with fact.

      Let's just stick to our personal experiences. All these products are FDA approved and work for many people. The fact that one catheter works better for one person doesn't mean it will work better for everyone. If you're unhappy with your catheter, you can always experiment with different ones.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Hank,

      Always good to hear from fellow JimJames Academy alumnus!

      And yes, I HAVE dive-bombed with the Cure and still have a few in stock, so I may again. But you know we are creatures of habit, and I got into the SpeediCath habit after hearing our professor James recommend them and then my uro prescribing them for me. Also, I've always believed in the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

      Keep on truckin', mate!

      Patrick

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  • Posted

    I've been using the red rubber catheters , with no problems, from the beginning (about two years ago), as my HMO (Kaiser) won't cover the Speedicaths.

    I don't wear surgical gloves, but thoroughly wash my hands with antibacterial soap, then then uses a hand-sanitizer before lubing the catheter. I also use an iodine solution on the head of the penis.

    After use, I thoroughly wash the catheter with an antibacterial soap, squirt alcohol down the shaft (with a syringe made for irrigating the ears), and store the catheter in an alcohol bath for 24 hours, then hang it up to dry.

    It's a simple procedure, and works for me.

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  • Edited

    Oof. Red rubbers. Even the name sounds archaic.

    Like you, Jim, I have become spoiled by the SpeediCath and the "dive bomb" technique which has worked well for me since starting CIC last November. I firmly believe "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and will stick with what works well. My uro has hooked me up with a cath nurse who gave me my first CIC lesson in the comfort of my home and remains very responsive to my questions, concerns and requests and has provided samples of other catheters, none of which match the ease, convenience and comfort of the SpeediCath.

    The cath nurse works for the supplier that keeps me well-stocked and calls regularly to make sure I have an adequate supply. He is always on the road with his SUV loaded with all kinds of catheters and I'm sure he would personally deliver a supply in the unlikely event I should run low. I have never had to call to ask for a re-supply as they always call when I am down to the last couple of boxes. The process couldn't be easier and is covered by Medicare.

    However, I get your message about having some red rubbers on hand in case of emergency so will ask my cath nurse to have a few sent. Is there a specific brand you would recommend?

    Patrick

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    • Edited

      I used Bard Coude, FR14. I'm sure there are others that work just as well. Keep in mind that they are much more flexible than the Speedicath's so you probably will have to go up a size. I use FR12 Speedicath but used FR14 with the red rubber.

      Jim

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  • Edited

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the post. Having just passed the 5000 mark on my Speedicaths coude 14fr hydrophilics I cannot imagine life without them.

    Do you think the Speedicaths could be re-used again and again if they are sterilized carefully and then reapply lube for each use?

    Also, the red rubbers are not coude tipped which is important for those of us with huge prostates. Any thoughts? Thanks Jim. Howard

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    • Edited

      Howard,

      I have some coude tip red rubber caths from BARD. See the picture in my previous post. I have never tried sterilizing and re-using speedicaths, and would be leary of it.

      Thomas

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    • Edited

      Howard,

      I thought about that but never re-used a hydrophillic. I don't see why not, as long as you sterilized them carefully, but again, have never done it. Another thought for back up, is to try a non-hydrophilic plastic catheter which should be re-usuable. BTW red rubbers come coude or straight, just like the Speedicath. Again, I wasn't at all unhappy with the Speedicaths, I just wanted a few re-usuable catheters around in case I ran out.

      Jim

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