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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Intermittent catheters

Which is best, single use or multi-use catheters?

These are sometimes referred to as ‘in-out’ catheters, and are used by people who have long-term bladder emptying problems. Such catheters are used by people independently in their own homes and are part of their lives. The risk of developing infections is as high as in hospital settings and it is vital to find ways to reduce the risk and the number of infections to combat antimicrobial resistance.

Southampton researchers concerned at finding ways to reduce Urinary Tract Infection and other complications and how to improve satisfaction, among users of  intermittent catheters (ICs), compared one catheter design, material or technique versus another; and looked at how single-use catheters compared to multiple-use ones. The aim was to find out whether using a mixture of re-usable catheters and single-use catheters is as safe and acceptable for intermittent catheterisation as using only single-use catheters. An article on their findings was published in 2015. Read the article here.

This work paved the way for the large clinical trial known as the MultiCath Trial. It aims to determine whether using a mixture of single-use and multi-use catheters is acceptable to users and no more likely to cause urinary tract infection or other problems than using single-use catheters only. Partners on theMultiCath trial are Bristol Urological Institute, Glasgow Caledonian University, Newcastle University, University College London and North Bristol Trust.



Find out who can take part in the trial

The Multicath Trial - part 2

This began in April 2016. Researchers have spoken with catheter users, health care professionals and industry representatives and developed a cleaning method which when tested in the laboratory and by a group of catheter users has been found to be safe and acceptable to use.

To compare mixed catheter use with single-use catheters only, we need about 520 people who use intermittent catheterisation to agree to take part in the trial. Half of the group (approximately 260 people) will be asked to continue to use single-use catheters only and the other half will be asked to use a mixture of multi-use and single-use catheters. This will be decided at random. Visit the MultiCath website and find out more


NAMRIP members: Mandy Fader, Jacqui Prieto and Cathy Murphy

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