1st Urinary Catheter

11 August 2014

The first urinary catheter is reported to have been passed by John of Gaddesden (1300-1367) and catheterization was illustrated in some of the earliest texts. When a tube could not easily be passed into the bladder to relieve the obstruction, other procedures to enter the bladder were devised, some quite novel, though all probably as painful and dangerous as the condition itself!


Benjamin Franklin was a prolific inventor, not least of medical devices. Because his brother suffered from various urinary problems, he invented the first flexible urinary catheter — made of bendy silver wire and covered with animal stomach casings.

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