GEEWHIZ® FOR MALE URINARY INCONTINENCE
“Gadget guy” and inventor Paul Dwork, a pharmacist in Camarillo, California created the GeeWhiz® Male External Condom Catheter for urine collection, which won the 2008 Medical Design Excellence Award. The product has been approved for Medicare Coverage, and the cost is minimal and the benefits are wonderful. “We come into this world in diapers but there is no need to leave it in diapers”, Dwork said.
An elderly man wakes up, soaked in his own fluids. The stench is nauseating as he waits for someone to clean up after him. He is ashamed and disgusted. There is nowhere to go but wait. This may sound familiar to millions of Americans who experience urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of bladder control.
A magician, pharmacist and “gadget guy,” Dwork has invented the GeeWhiz® male external condom catheter, which is covered by Medicare and won the 2008 Medical Excellence Award, an awards program for the medical technology community. “It’s a good product,” said Cynthia Poulsen, an administrator at Shoreline Care Center, a nursing facility in Oxnard, where some residents have used GeeWhiz®.
“The device prevents unnecessary changing of clothes and linens, saving time and resources”, she said. “It also has improved residents’ self-esteem because they don’t have the embarrassment of having to request clothes,” Poulsen added. Unlike similar products on the market, GeeWhiz® is applied with a patented silicone gel seal that does not stick to skin or hair. The gel strip is wrapped behind glans and then the catheter is rolled on. A silicone strip is then wrapped over the gel strip bump. A tube connects the catheter to a leg drain bag, which holds two pints of fluid. Alex Weinstein, a Santa Barbara urologist, said “The GeeWhiz® condom catheter fills a niche. Until this product, people didn’t like them because they’re difficult to take on and off, cause erosions and nurses have a hard time fitting them,” Weinstein said. The design of GeeWhiz® is much more “palatable,” noting that it causes a lower incidence of skin problems and is easier to take on and off because of its “snap on” connector system.
Lewis Gomavitz, 95, of Camarillo had tried a number of condom catheters before he found success with GeeWhiz®, said his wife, Patricia. “I was having to use tape and improvise with the other products in order to have them stay on,” she said. “They were horrible.” She said GeeWhiz® fits well and doesn’t come off, and it doesn’t cause irritation or redness like others had.
With GeeWhiz®, the goal was to find a way to get urine away from the body in a closed-circuit environment. It is only when urine is exposed to the air that it has an odor. The GeeWhiz® External Male Urine Collection System does exactly that.
Information on the product can be seen on line at ParkinsonsResource.org/Wellness-Village/. With Medicare approval, GeeWhiz® can improve the quality of life for incontinent males.