Stories from catheter users and their families

Here we have collected personal stories from people who share their experiences of Bactiguard’s infection prevention catheters.


Finally we can socialize again

Ingrid is a social woman with a lot of things going on. She has made a great effort since her partner Sven suffered a stroke her partner had to use an adult diaper. Five years ago, when he instead received an indwelling catheter, she hoped life would get easier. It didn’t. Sven contracted the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa after a while, which colors the urine purple and spreads a strong, characteristic odor in the room. He became an “odor patient”.

”The smell was horrible. I couldn’t stand that smell and neither could the grandchildren. They told their parents that the smell was horrible at grandma’s and Sven” says Ingrid.

Ingrid stopped inviting friends over. It could perhaps have been possible the first day after the catheter was flushed clean. She avoided taking Sven out to town even though he loved going out to eat. Sven himself was not aware of the odor, it was only the people around him. Ingrid suffered.

“The last few years have been difficult. I was close to leaving him and moving away because of the odor.”

When Ingrid now sits in the urologist’s office in Oskarshamn and talks to the urolgy nurse, Anna Johansson, the situation is different.

“Sven still has a catheter – but it doesn’t smell at all now!” Ingrid says.

It was one of Anna’s colleagues who, during a conversation, suggested that the patient should try a BIP Foley Catheter. Anna discussed it with the doctor who immediately made the decision to prescribe Sven the Bactiguard catheters instead of the traditional ones.

The catheter Sven had before changing to Bactiguard’s started smelling after just a few days. Even after it was flushed clean the odor returned after just a few days. With Bactiguard, he was odor free for a month and therefore it was prescribed that the catheter should be changed at one month intervals.

”For the doctor it was obvious that the patient’s relatives should not have to live with the kind of odor problems that they had” says urology nurse Anna Johansson.

However, both she and Ingrid perceive that there is a lack of knowledge in the municipality regarding the huge difference the infection prevention catheters can do to increase the life quality for patients and relatives.

“But I’m not giving up now that I know that we can avoid the odor” says Ingrid and hopes that her story can help others when they find out that here is a way to overcome the odor problem.

*Ingrid and Sven are fictional names.


Things have never been as easy as they are now

Life changed dramatically that day in January, when Elisabeth* suffered a stroke that left her in a wheelchair. Being confined to a wheelchair meant Elisabeth needed a urinary catheter permanently. This led to repeated urinary tract infections and constant rounds of antibiotics.

“Every time I got a new catheter, I fell ill within the space of a week. The chronic urinary tract infections made me feel ill and generally down”, she says with a sigh.

The recurrent urinary tract infections and the large consumption of antibiotics resulted in Elisabeth developing antimicrobial resistance, which is when bacteria no longer respond to treatment. This meant that the countless urinary tract infections could no longer be treated with antibiotics. Around two years ago, Elisabeth’s urotherapist at the Central Hospital in Karlstad, Sweden, told her about Bactiguard’s BIP Foley Catheters.

The results exceeded all expectations for Elisabeth. She didn’t have any urinary tract infections for two years. Elisabeth feels that everyone should be offered a Bactiguard catheter from the very start and stresses that the healthcare sector should give greater consideration to patient wellbeing when deciding which catheter to procure.

“If it is as good for others as it has been for me, more patients should be offered the opportunity to use this catheter to avoid pain and discomfort. It would be a win/win situation, both for patients who would avoid unnecessary suffering and the healthcare sector that can reduce its costs for difficult to treat, chronic infections.” 

Since the risk of infection increases with duration of catheterization, CAUTI is a large health burden for patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction who use indwelling catheters permanently. These patients suffer from voiding dysfunction due to a brain-, spinal cord-, or other nerve conditions, caused by e.g. stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis or birth defects.

Bactiguard met Elisabeth a few years ago through her nurse and have documented her case in a clinical study that will be published during 2019. While Elisabeth was using her previous catheters, she experienced urinary tract infections that requiried antibiotics almost every month for four years. After one month with BIP Foley Catheter, the symptoms disappeared, and she remained free of infections and subsequent antibiotic treatment for 2.5 years.

*Elisabeth is a fictional name.


With Bactiguard the life with catheter has been manageable

There are days that change the direction one’s life takes. A summer day in Spain when Fredrik swam straight into a sandbar and suffered a spinal cord injury is one of those days. Another change in direction came when Fredrik’s district nurse, Lotta, asked him if he wanted to try a BIP Foley Catheter Silicone.

After a few weeks of intensive care treatment, air transport and half a year’s rehabilitation at a spinal cord center he got home to his wife, kids and house in Skåne. For the last 20 years Fredrik has lived with the after effects of the accident.

”People who see a person in a wheelchair think “Poor guy – he can’t walk”. But walking comes farther down the list of things that I would like to be able to do. There are so many other things that come with a spinal cord injury”, says Fredrik.

To have control of your stomach, to have full lung capacity and trouble free urination are higher up on my list of priorities. The last part has almost been achieved.

”I got a catheter directly after my accident and at first it was intermittent. But the emptying part did not work well at all and pretty soon I had an indwelling catheter”, says Fredrik.

The urinary tract infections started almost immediately and were a constant bother. Fredrik quickly learned to recognize the symptoms.

”It is like a feeling of malaise in your body. Since the spinal cord injury affects the nervous system your blood pressure goes up easily, you get a headache and start perspiring. It also hurts. As a person with a spinal cord injury I can tell you that the pain isn’t only local but can also be felt for example as a rash on your skin.”

Almost as bad as the infection was the worry of when the next one would come. Every morning Fredrik checked. How was he feeling? Was there something on the way? Would he be able to do the things he and his family had planned? Fredrik had tried most types of catheters; latex, silicone and silver-coated. Through the years he has also tried almost all types of antibiotics on the market – a fact which worries him.

”If you have gone through everything on the market there won’t be anything left that works in the end. Not having to take antibiotics all the time is almost the best thing about finding a catheter that works”, Fredrik says.

When Fredrik’s district nurse made Fredrik try the Bactiguard catheter a few years back it had an immediate effect.

”In previous years I had infections all the time, at least once per month. Last year I had a total of three during the whole year.”

Fewer infections mean Fredrik does not have to change his catheter as frequently, which was always a painful experience.

”My life is peaceful; I have better control and can focus my energy on other things. Thanks to Bactiguard, life with a catheter is easier to manage”, says Fredrik.

*Fredrik is a fictional name.


Thanks to my husband’s new catheter I can sleep at night again

A severe infection and several subsequent treatments with large amounts of antibiotics resulted in Hagar Söderlund’s husband Lennart suffering from scar formation and urinating difficulties. Eventually the only option was to insert a suprapubic catheter, which is an indwelling catheter which is placed inside the bladder through a hole in the abdominal wall.

Almost immediately after the first catheter was inserted, Lennart got a urinary tract infection. And then it continued month after month with several antibiotic courses.

The first time Hagar heard about Bactiguard’s unique solution was when she read an article in Dagens Nyheter. Almost one year had passed then since her husband got his first catheter. For seven months Lennart was treated with seven antibiotic courses. He suffered from several fatal catheter blockages, which entailed visits to the casualty department during the night.

“I was completely euphoric when I realised that there is a solution which could reduce the number of infections and that this could be a good option for my husband,” says Hagar.

Shortly thereafter Hagar mustered up the courage and called Bactiguard, who in turn contacted Lennart’s doctor at Karolinska University Hospital. One week later Lennart got his first Bactiguard coated urinary catheter.

Owing to the catheter Lennart almost completely became free of his urinary tract infections, catheter blockages and was happy that he no longer had to ‘nibble at those pills,’ as he put it. Replacement of the catheter became more comfortable. His overall condition improved, as well as his appetite, and he became his old self with a great sense of humour. Hagar and Lennart went on more walks together rather than visiting the hospital at night.

“As a relative the replacement of catheter was great for me. I could finally sleep at night as my husband no longer suffered from constant infections and his pain disappeared. I no longer need to dread for the next catheter blockage,” says Hagar.


My quality of life has really improved

Despite the suffered injuries, Vincenzo Carta’s quality of life has improved substantially since he started using Bactiguard’s BIP Foley Catheters.

“When I’m in a good mood, I don’t even feel that I am using a urinary catheter permanently. It is actually very comfortable,” says Vincenzo.

In 2007, Vincenzo Carta suffered a serious injury at his workplace that injured the internal organs of his abdomen. Shortly after, he underwent surgery and received his first urinary catheter. While recovering at the intensive care unit, he was affected by multi-resistant bacteria. This led to painful recurring urinary tract infections, followed by treatment with very strong antibiotics. In the coming years Vincenzo had suffered several urinary tract infections time after time, which severely limited his daily life.

The first time he heard about Bactiguard’s BIP Foley Catheters that reduce the risk for urinary tract infections, was in 2010, when the staff at the intensive care unit at the University Polyclinic in Padova in Italy presented it as an option to try out. Ever since then Vincenzo has never stopped using the BIP Foley Catheters.

Due to a variety of health-related issues, the insertion of a urinary catheter is not entirely effortless for Vincenzo. Despite this, he still considers that Bactiguard’s BIP Foley Catheters with latex core and noble metal as well as hydrophilic coating are soft and more comfortable than standard catheters he has used before.

Earlier, when Vincenzo used standard urinary catheters, tests always showed the presence of bacteria causing urinary tract infections. The reduction of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) is, according to Vincenzo, one of the biggest advantages in using Bactiguard’s BIP Foley Catheters. Also being able to reduce the use of strong antibiotics and the comfort of the catheter which has improved his quality of life.

“Right after receiving my first Bactiguard catheter, the following urine tests showed no presence of bacteria strains such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli, which they used to do,” says Vincenzo.