No-Touch Catheterization and Infection Rates in a Select Spinal Cord Injured Population


  • Renée Charbonneau-Smith BScN RN CRRN

    nurse clinician, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Renée Charbonneau-Smith is a nurse clinician on the spinal cord injury team at Parkwood Hospital in London, ON, Canada.

801 Commissioners Road E, London, ON N6C 5J1, Canada


A clinical trial comparing two intermittent catheterization techniques used with spinal cord injured patients at Parkwood Hospital, a long-term care facility in London, ON, Canada, was conducted to evaluate the techniques' effect on urinary tract infections (UTIs). Charts were reviewed retrospectively for 92 patients with traumatic spinal cord injury who were on intermittent catheterization between January 1985 and December 1988. Nearly 80% of these patients had more than one UTI per admission. A convenience sample of 18 patients with traumatic spinal cord injury participated in a prospective study using a no-touch method of catheterization for 7 months. Preliminary findings at the completion of the study revealed that 44.4% of this experimental group had more than one UTI per admission—a 44.5% reduction. The no-touch method using the O'Neil Sterile Field™ urinary catheter was successful in reducing the total number of infections and duration of infection for the experimental group. A nurse satisfaction questionnaire revealed that nursing staff preferred this method of intermittent catheterization to the traditional method.