In medicine, a catheter is a tube that can be inserted into a body
cavity duct or vessel. Catheters thereby allow drainage or injection of fluids
or access by surgical instruments. The process of inserting a catheter is
catheterization. In most uses a catheter is a thin, flexible tube: a "soft"
catheter; in some uses, it is a larger, solid tube: a "hard" catheter.
The ancient Egyptians are reported to have fashioned catheters from papyrus,
and the ancient Greeks from reeds. A flexible urinary catheter was invented by
Benjamin Franklin for the use of his brother.
Placement of a catheter into a particular part of the body may allow: draining urine from the urinary bladder as in urinary catheterization,
i.e. Foley catheter or even when the urethra is damaged as in suprapubic
catheterisation. By comparison, a Texas catheter is not inserted into the
urethra, but connects to the penis via a condom-like envelope with a drainage
tube at its tip. drainage of fluid collections, e.g. an abdominal abscess administration of intravenous fluids, medication or parenteral nutrition angioplasty, angiography, balloon septostomy direct
measurement of blood pressure in an artery or vein
Specifics About Butterfly Catheters
A central venous catheter is a conduit for giving drugs or fluids into a
large-bore catheter positioned either in a vein near the heart or just inside
the atrium. A Swan-Ganz catheter is a special type of catheter placed into the
pulmonary artery for measuring pressures in the heart.
catheter is a small gauge needle, with a plastic set of "wings" just below the
needle hub that make holding the needle easier and more stable. Below the wings
is a short piece of flexible IV tubing to allow for greater flexibility and
movement when attaching the syringe containing the medication or anesthetic
agent. This set up also allows for easy saline flushing of the catheter and
switching between different medication syringes if multiple drug administrations
need to be made.
catheters can also be used for aspirations (withdrawing of fluids or cells from
a mass or body cavity). Additionally, a butterfly catheter could be used for
flushing a wound area, but this is not commonly done, due to the small size of
the needle and relative expense of a butterfly catheter compared to a simple