Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: In their article about patient
safety, Dr Shojania and colleagues1 recommend
the use of silver alloy and suprapubic urinary catheters. However, they do
not address avoidance of unnecessary catheter use. Urinary catheters are widely
and inappropriately used in hospitals; physicians are often unaware that their
patients have a catheter in place, and such unrecognized catheter usage is
particularly likely to be inappropriate.2 The
Foley catheter has been derided as a "one-point restraint" that causes discomfort,
poses an infectious risk, injures patients' dignity, and limits mobility.2 Shojania et al do not discuss catheter avoidance
and removal as important ways to promote patient safety, despite the absence
of confirmatory clinical trials.
Johnson JR. Safety of Urinary Catheters. JAMA. 2003;289(3):300-301. doi:10.1001/jama.289.3.300-a