The future of urinary catheter care has arrived.
ProtekMed has launched the Tru-flo(TM) urinary catheter valve, an innovative and economical alternative to the standard tube and bag system prescribed by most urologists today. This revolutionary technology eliminates the need for a bag and lengthy tubing, enabling patients who require catheters to regain a sense of normalcy and an improved quality of life.
Tru-flo allows patients to drain their bladders in a much more natural way. Designed to be used in place of a bag, the valve connects to the end of the catheter tube and slides open and closed easily with one hand. With a secure, leak-free seal, a Tru-flo-equipped catheter can be drained directly into a commode at the convenience of the patient. The valve universally adapts to all Foley and Supra-pubic catheter systems.
Patient Benefits of Tru-flo
By eliminating the bag and utilizing shorter catheter tubing, the entire catheter system is easily concealed thanks to Tru-flo - helping to restore patient comfort and dignity. And with no recessed or undercut external surfaces that can harbor bacteria, the Tru-flo valve has important design features for infection prevention.
Additional benefits to patients using the Tru-flo valve include the following:
- Eliminates the need for - and hassle of - a collection bag
- Provides greater comfort and freedom
- Enables a more active lifestyle
- Offers a safe and economical alternative to tube and bag systems
- Simulates more "normal" bladder function
- Universally adapts with Foley and Supra-pubic catheters
Use of the Tru-flo Urinary Catheter Valve
The Tru-flo urinary catheter valve may be prescribed for patients through their physician. Patient indications for use of the Tru-flo valve include the following:
- Conditions of chronic urinary retention
- Conditions of acute urinary retention
- Other medical conditions requiring in-dwelling catheters
Suggested patient selection criteria for the device include the following:
- Reasonable cognitive function
- Ample manual dexterity to be able to open and close the valve
- If the patient does not possess these qualities, a full-time caretaker may easily operate the valve
For patients utilizing the valve, it should be opened every three-to-four hours initially. Some patients may have the urge to void and should open the valve as this occurs. The valve can be used safely overnight, or a bedside drainage bag may be attached before bed, reducing nocturia, and the valve replaced in the morning.
Contraindications include a high-pressure neurogenic bladder, a history of autonomic dysreflexia, a febrile UTI, and situations following any procedure or trauma where there is a possibility for urinary extravasation and urinary drainage is needed for optimal tissue repair, such as TURBT, bladder repair or trauma, or radical prostatectomy. Relative contraindications are gross hematuria with clot.
The Inspiration Behind Tru-flo
When fluid dynamics engineer Gordon Atkinson had to utilize a catheter and bag following prostate surgery, he was immediately frustrated by its challenges. The bag was cumbersome and difficult to conceal, especially when wearing shorts or engaging in leisure activities. Turning over in bed required great care and prevented a good night's sleep. Emptying and changing the bag was inconvenient and unpleasant.
"I love to fish and sail, but the catheter and bag made it difficult for me to feel comfortable doing those things," Atkinson explains. I had all this tubing hanging on my leg, and I had to be careful not to snag it on anything. I definitely couldn't wear shorts. If the tubing disconnects, which can easily happen, urine runs down your leg and soils your pants. I knew there had to be a better way. "
Having designed all kinds of valves over the course of his career, Atkinson started tinkering with ideas in his home workshop and developed a prototype plastic catheter valve. He tried it out on his own catheter and quickly realized that he was on to something. That's when he showed it to his doctor, urologist Mitch Yadven, M.D.
"When I showed it to Mitch, he said, 'Do you know what you've done?'" Atkinson recalls. "I think we both knew this valve could have life-changing potential."
From there, the project took off. Atkinson and Yadven patented the concept and made improvements to the design before teaming up with Link-It Medical, a company that helps position inventors to commercialize new medical technologies. Link-It helped the duo evaluate several potential manufacturers before they selected ProtekMed to make the Tru-flo urinary catheter valve a reality.