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Catheter Definition


Updated June 04, 2014

A intravenous drip being attached to a hand
Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images
Definition: A catheter is a hollow tube, similar to a straw, that is inserted into the body. The catheter may be inserted into an opening in the body, such as a urinary catheter, to drain urine from the bladder. A catheter may also be inserted into a vein, such as an IV needle.

Catheters can be used to drain fluid from the body, or to inject fluids, such as during a cardiac catheterization.

Catheters used in medical procedures are typically sterile, to prevent creating an infection at the insertion site or in the body.

Also Known As: cath, catheters,
Common Misspellings: cathater, cathatar, kathater, kathatar, katheter, cathetar,
A tiny catheter was inserted into the blood vessel so IV medications could be given.
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