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Tradition and habit of mind are hard to overcome. From the earliest history of medicine, it has been customary to insert a catheter into the urinary bladder whenever it became distended, without consideration of the underlying pathologic condition.
To propose that a urinary bladder should seldom, if ever, be catheterized is radical, and such a broad statement demands analysis.
I believe that logic and experience teach that in the cases of injury to the spinal cord, the urinary bladder should not be emptied by catheterization, unless there is a pathologic stricture of the urethra which would prevent overflow.
A few years ago I had occasion to go over all the histories of a 1,500 bed general hospital. These histories covered a period of twenty years, and after careful search I failed to find a single case of spontaneous rupture of the urinary bladder. This in itself justifies the conclusion that
BESLEY FA. A PLEA FOR THE NONCATHETERIZATION OF THE URINARY BLADDERIN CASES OF GUNSHOT WOUNDS OF THE SPINAL COLUMN. JAMA. 1917;LXIX(8):638–639. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.25910350003011b