Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In medicine, a catheter is a tube that a health professional may insert into part of the body. The process of inserting a catheter is catheterization. In most uses it is a thin, flexible tube: a "soft" catheter; in some, it is a larger, solid tube: a "hard" catheter.
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 super-pubic catheterization .
- administration of intravenous fluids , medication or parenteral nutrition
- injection of dye or radio-opaque contrast into blood vessels or other structures to visualize abnormalities , as in cardiac catheterization, which is part of coronary angiography
- direct measurement of blood pressure in a artery or vein
- infusion of local anesthetics and other drugs for epidural anesthesia
- suctioning of unwanted fluids from the airway (with a hard catheter)
- Administration of a lethal injection
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