The cost of a catheter: An environmental perspective on single use clean intermittent catheterization. Neurourology and urodynamics Sun, A. J., Comiter, C. V., Elliott, C. S. 2018


METHODS: We estimated the prevalence of CIC use in the United States using a neurogenic population, consisting of persons with multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and spinal cord injury. We measured catheter samples to obtain the amount of waste per catheter.RESULTS: At least 300800 persons in the United States perform CIC for neurogenic bladder management. Assuming five catheterization events per day, the amount of waste generated by single-use CIC is between 26500 to 235400 pounds or 22600 to 564000 liters per day, depending on catheter model.CONCLUSIONS: Single-use CIC may generate up to 85 million pounds or 206 million liters of waste annually, equivalent to more than 26000 cars or 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Laid end-to-end, there is enough catheter length circumscribe the world more than 5.5 times. The most common materials used in catheter construction have little to no degradation once in a landfill. Given the unproven clinical benefit of single-use catheterization, the environmental impact and alternatives should be considered.

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