Health professionals should be able to justify their clinical decisions by referring to up-to-date research: in the climate of today's health care, practice that is based purely on custom cannot be condoned (Bergman 1999). Urinary catheter use in children varies widely throughout hospital and community settings, suggesting that decisions are based on custom rather than evidence. Some clinical areas do not stock appropriate paediatric catheters and feeding tubes are sometimes used to catheterise children. If clinicians are using inappropriate catheters or products not specifically designed for use as urinary catheters, there are concerns related to risk assessment and practitioner liability (Medical Devices Agency (MDA) 2000). This article briefly considers the issues of risk and liability in relation to selection of urinary catheters and reviews the literature to identify criteria to support decision making in providing safe care for children requiring catheterisation.
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2003|