Draping and associated equipment for indwelling catheter manipulation by hospital staff: an assessment of attitudes and adequacy Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To address the usability and safety aspects of current equipment for indwelling urinary catheter (IDC) manipulation, by assessing the attitudes of doctors and nurses to infection control, occupational health and environmental waste, and the perceived adequacy of available catheter packs, particularly drapes, when performing such manipulations. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A self-administered survey instrument was created using an online database and completed by doctors and nurses. The survey covered basic demographics and experience with IDC, attitudes to infection control, occupational health and safety, and the environment, as well as adequacy of current equipment in containing spillage of urine and/or blood. RESULTS: In all, 87 doctors and 228 nurses completed 315 of 350 (90%) surveys. Doctors and nurses were concerned about infection control, occupational health and safety issues, and environmental waste. Incidents involving spillage of urine and/or blood often go unreported. There were no differences between nurses and doctors having specialist training in urology or experience (P > 0.05). The second major finding is that available catheter packs, particularly drapes, when manipulating IDCs, are inadequate and spillage is likely. These findings were more pronounced in doctors and those with urology training (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: The attitudes of health professionals involved with IDC manipulations are consistent with other fields, as is the under-reporting of episodes of contamination by bodily fluids. The current equipment, particularly drapes, are inadequate for containing urine and blood, leading to infection control, occupational health, environmental and cost implications.

publication date

  • May 2009