We reviewed the consultation patterns for difficult urethral catheter placement in tertiary care hospitals and developed a treatment algorithm for this common request.We identified all urethral catheter consults obtained by urology residents at three tertiary care hospitals from October 2009 through October 2010. Only consults for inability to place urethral catheter by the referring team were included; hematuria or clot retention were excluded. Patient age, date of consultation, consulting service, prior urologic history, initial number of attempts, and final outcome were recorded.Eighty-one consults were recorded. Seventy-seven (96%) were male; the median age was 65 years. The most common consulting services were internal medicine (35%), intraoperative consults (17%), and the intensive care unit (17%). In 90% of cases, an initial attempt at catheter placement was attempted; 62% of these were made by nurses. Over half of patients had known urologic pathology. In 70% of cases, successful placement without other adjuncts was achieved by the urology resident. Twenty percent of patients required cystoscopic manipulation; nine percent required suprapubic tube placement.Catheterization was achieved without adjunct procedures in the majority of consults. These results support an algorithm in which all patients without a prior history of lower urinary tract pathology should undergo an initial placement attempt by the primary service physician. They also underscore the need for educational efforts to improve non-urologists' comfort level with placement of a standard Foley or Coudé catheter.
View details for Web of Science ID 000328717300009
View details for PubMedID 24331347