When you’re wearing a catheter, you have your eye on the clock – to ensure timely bag changes, for example. But there’s another reason to pay attention to the time where your catheter is concerned – the product’s expiration date, which manufacturers are required to include on catheter packaging.
Timing is often a concern when purchasing supplies and unfortunately, not everything a doctor or caregiver prescribes will be a perfect fit. Through a process of trial and error to find what works, patients can accrue medical supplies which, though unused, may be nonrefundable and nontransferable.
Due to expense of medical supplies and simply not wanting them to go to waste, some users may be tempted to use a product beyond the expiration date,. Using a product of this nature past its expiration date may not seem like a bad idea; however, there are many reasons to respect the time stamp.
With a product like a catheter, as cited in a 180medical.com article, expiration dates ensure package integrity and sterility. Typically the catheters themselves do not breakdown once expired, but the sterility can be compromised after the expiration date.
When using hydrophilic catheter, which has sterile water to activate the lubricant enclosed in the kit, the expiration date signifies how long the water will remain sterile. After this date, the water may begin to evaporate, or the sterilization components may begin to break down, causing the water to become cloudy.
Symbius Medical can assist you with all your medical supply needs and have them shipped directly to your door. Our customer service department is available to answer your questions and we will even take care of processing your insurance claim with your primary or secondary insurance provider. We make it easy to reorder your supplies with our Monthly Supply Order Management Program.