Urinary catheters may be the most commonly used of all medical devices; however, with chronic use they can cause serious problems, notably:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs),
- Low quality of life (QoL), and
These problems are acutely heightened for women with impaired detrusor contractility (IDC), which is the inability to contract the bladder muscles necessary to expel urine. IDC is almost always the result of neurologic disease or injury, so it is generally incurable. As a result, women with IDC must use urinary catheters every day for the rest of their lives. Currently, most women with IDC have only two choices for bladder drainage:
- They can insert a tube into their bladder 4-6x daily (120-200 times per month) or
- They can tie themselves to a bag of their own urine.
Medical technology has made amazing advances in many areas, but urinary catheters are obviously not of them.
“Fundamental problems with the basic design of the catheter, which has changed little since it was first introduced in 1937, induce susceptibility to infection" -Prof. R. Feneley
Many world experts believe what is called for is an entirely new design approach.
To learn more: IDC Background
Restoring Control -The inFlow device is intended to normalize toileting for women with IDC to the greatest degree possible. As a prosthetic device, it is designed to compensate for a specific anatomic deficiency. The inFlow’s internal pump compensates for the inability of women with IDC to generate bladder pressure by providing forceful, virtually complete evacuation of urine on demand. By allowing almost normal use of a toilet, the inFlow eliminates the need to catheterize multiple times daily and eliminates tubes/drainage bags, improving its users’ self-image as well as their hygiene.
In short, the inFlow is intended to restore personal dignity to a group of women who are sorely in need.
To learn more: How the inFlow Works