Managing Incontinence and Reducing Infection

Incontinence poses a significant problem in infection control. Whether in the healthcare setting or managed at home, incontinence contributes to infection in a variety of ways. Regardless of how incontinence is managed, the utmost care must be taken to prevent different infections. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some things to consider in managing incontinence to reduce infection.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we make products with the health and safety of end-users — both incontinent patients and their caretakers alike — into consideration. Our products are sterile and bacteriostatic to help prevent and reduce infection. Regardless of how you manage incontinence, choose products that have a positive impact.

Reducing Skin Breakdown

One of the biggest concerns regarding incontinence-related infection is skin breakdown and sores. Our skin is the biggest organ and offers the greatest protection against microbes in the environment. Even a slight compromise in skin integrity by the acid in urine or bowel can leave the person susceptible to sores that can be incredibly difficult to heal because of the constant exposure to more urine and feces. Additionally, human waste carries millions of bacteria, that in the gut and toilet are harmless, but in an open flesh wound can cause serious complications.

To help prevent skin breakdown in the incontinent, pads, briefs, and other continence management supplies should be changed regularly and barrier cream applied to protect the skin. In addition to keeping the skin clean and dry, pressure should be offloaded regularly in the physically impaired to help reduce skin breakdown and pressure ulcers.

Foley Catheters

Foley catheters provide effective protection from the complications of soiled underwear but present their own infection control challenges. Skin can break down around the catheter tubing or where the tubing rests, including on the thigh, meatus, or urethral opening. Great care must be taken to prevent pressure sores and the tubing should be cleaned regularly to prevent urine from touching skin around the tubing and from bacteria using the tubing as a port of entry into the bladder.

To help prevent or reduce infection, HR Lubricating Jelly is a sterile, bacteriostatic lubricant that can be used, along with sterile technique, to help prevent bacteria to be introduced into the urinary tract while placing a Foley catheter. And, to make things better, HR Lubricating Jelly is water-based, so you don’t have to worry about it compromising the integrity of the silicone tubing.

Reduce Waste Exposure

Another important component of infection control regarding incontinence is the exposure to human waste by caretakers, the incontinent, or passersby. For instance, those who are incontinent and not using means of waste collection — pad, brief, chair liners, or Foley catheters — run the risk of accidentally leaving waste residue wherever they sit. When waste is produced, the bacteria that exists is generally harmless, however, very quickly microbes flourish on the nutrients it provides.

Improper hand hygiene by any person exposed to human waste can potentially spread the waste on any surface they touch. Preventing the spread of infection includes the practice of proper hand hygiene before and after incontinence management care, proper disposal of incontinence products, and disinfection of all surfaces with approved cleaners.

If you manage incontinence for yourself, patients, or family members, keep the HR Pharmaceutical line of medical lubricants in mind. HR Lubricating Jelly is trusted by medical professionals around the world. Our products are available in multi-use tubes or single-use foil packets for convenience and sterility. Browse our entire product line online today.