Urethral catheterization may be performed as either a therapeutic or a diagnostic procedure. Therapeutically, catheters may be placed to decompress the bladder in patients with acute or chronic urinary retention. In addition, catheters may be placed to facilitate bladder irrigation in patients with gross hematuria. Diagnostically, urinary catheters may be placed to obtain an uncontaminated urine sample for microbiologic testing, to measure urinary output in critically ill patients or during surgical procedures, or to measure post-void residuals. The only absolute contraindication to urethral catheterization is known or suspected urethral injury, usually in the setting of a pelvic fracture. Trauma patients . . . . View Video
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