The Problem: This study was designed to ascertain which of two pre-catheterization cleansing procedures now in common use for the female patient is more effective in producing an area relatively free of microorganisms.

The Need: Indications of need for the study were: (1) an increasing body of literature linking catheterization with frequent urinary tract infections, many of which are "silent" but have extremely serious sequelae; (2) lack of uniformity in defining adequate pre-catheterization cleansing; and (3) absence of any recorded research to determine an adequate cleansing technique.

Method: The experimental method of research was used to collect data on one hundred patients, fifty of whom received pre-catheterization cleansing by Technique A (three cotton balls dipped in Virac antiseptic) and the other fifty by Technique B (three cotton balls dipped in Virac followed by three cotton-tipped applicators dipped in Virac).

Summary: Two preliminary surveys of bacterial populations of the female urinary meatus prior to any cleansing procedure showed a profusion of organisms potentially pathogenic to the urinary tract.

Data showing effectiveness of cleansing Techniques A and B were gathered by cultures from the urinary meatus immediately following cleansing by one of the techniques. These were reported in terms of colony counts of organisms grown on culture plates.

Eighty-six percent of culture plates from Technique A and 42 percent from Technique B showed viable organisms. These were classified as profuse, moderate, sparce, and none. Sixty-two per cent from Technique A and 18 percent from Technique B cultured organisms in profusion while 14 per cent of Technique A and 58 per cent of Technique B grew no organisms. With over twice as many cultures showing growth in Technique A as in Technique B and three and one-half times as many having a profuse growth, it was concluded that Technique B showed a definite superiority in removing organisms from the urethral meatus.

By way of interest two comparisons of Technique A and B on the same patients were carried out. One of these consisted of a series of twelve patients on whom Technique B was applied immediately following Technique A. The other comparison was made on sixteen patients making repeat calls who were given the alternate cleansing technique from that previously received. The findings when Technique B was applied immediately following A showed 83 per cent of the counts following Technique A were reduced to 0 by the application of Technique B and the remaining 17 per cent markedly reduced. When these two techniques were applied to the same patient but on different dates 63 per cent of the counts were reduced to 0, 24 per cent were markedly reduced and 13 per cent remained unchanged.

An analysis of patients with high counts indicated that those patients with deep-set meatus or deep vestibular floor profited most from the more detailed methods of Technique B.

The 18 per cent of cases whose cultures showed a profusion of organisms following the more thorough of these two techniques points up the need for further investigation of what does constitute an adequate cleansing technique.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Winifred Edwards

Second Advisor

Ruth Munroe

Third Advisor

Ellen Gibson

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Urinary Catheterization



Page Count

viii; 81

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives