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Should urinary catheter balloons be filled with water?


A group of scientists have tested the myth that urinary catheter balloon should only be filled with water.

In a laboratory experiment 600 catheter balloons were randomly filled with either 10mls of water, saline or glycine. The catheters were then immersed in a heated artificial urine solution for 6 weeks. The catheter balloons were then deflated.

The authors were able to deflate all of the catheters and they concluded that the use of saline or glycine in catheter balloons has an equivalent deflation failure rate to using water.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Latterlife Midwife

    You seem to have forgotten to include the links to the study, or at least some references. Give us a clue!

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  • are they ever filled with air?

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