What Is a Red Rubber Catheter?
Red rubber catheters are a type of intermittent catheter used to manage urinary retention. They function just like a straight catheter, except that they are made of red rubber latex instead of plastic. This makes the red rubber catheter a bit more flexible, which some people prefer.
How a Red Rubber Catheter Works
Red rubber catheters are used like other straight catheters. The catheter is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Small openings in the tip, called eyelets, allow urine to flow through the catheter and exit the body.
Red rubber catheters are designed to be used once and then thrown away. Using a new catheter each time reduces the risk of infections such as a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
Parts of a Red Rubber Catheter
There are two basic parts to a red rubber catheter:
Thin, flexible tubing that allows urine to leave the body. The tip contains smooth openings that allow urine to pass through the tubing and empty into a receptacle or toilet.
Catheter funnels are widened openings at one end that make it easier to handle the catheter and direct urine into the toilet or waste receptacle.
Who Uses Red Rubber Catheters?
Red Rubber catheters are used by people with a prescription for intermittent catheters, but who prefer red rubber latex over soft plastic.
Since both red rubber and straight catheters function the same, it may be possible for a person to choose one material over the other. However, because red rubber catheters contain latex, they cannot be used by people with latex allergies. It is ultimately the doctor’s decision as to which material is most appropriate for their patient.
Insurance Coverage of Red Rubber Catheters
Red Rubber catheters are covered by most health insurance plans. That includes Medicaid, Medicare, and private plans.
A doctor’s prescription is required for coverage, and the number of catheters you can receive depends on the details of your insurance benefits and the doctor’s prescription.
**To learn about Medicare coverage of all urology products,
visit our Guide to Medicare Coverage of Urology Supplies.
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How To Get Red Rubber Catheters
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