Inmate says he was told to wash, reuse disposable catheters

Posted at 11:37 AM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 13:37:15-04

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho inmates like Brad Vanzant rely on a private company called Corizon Health for all medical care. In Vanzant's case, that includes the urinary catheters that he uses to drain his bladder.

Vanzant says he was recently told by a Corizon doctor that his supply of single-use disposable catheters would be cut in half -- to three a day -- and that he'd have to wash and reuse them in a communal prison sink.

When asked about the matter by The Associated Press, Idaho Department of Correction officials first said reusing disposable devices would not be allowed and wasn't happening. But after they investigated Vanzant's claims, they said he was the only inmate told to do so -- and that Corizon Health staffers, not prison officials, make all decisions regarding medical equipment.

After IDOC began looking into the matter, Vanzant was told his supply of catheters would be restored to six a day.

Corizon Health officials say they can't comment on Vanzant's case, but it's not the company's policy to re-use disposable catheters.

(by Rebecca Boone, Associated Press)