Thursday, November 14, 2013

Urinary Tract Infections and Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections


Overview

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra that occurs when bacteria enter the urinary system. As a result of the infection, a person’s urine, which is normally sterile, will contain bacteria. This type of infection occurs more often in females versus males, due to the anatomy of the bladder and urethra.
A urinary catheter is a thin tube placed in the bladder to drain urine. Urine drains through the tube into a bag that collects the urine. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are infections caused by bacteria that have entered the urinary tract during the catheter's insertion, through the catheter tube, or through the catheter’s external surface.
Common symptoms of UTIs may include burning during urination, burning and pain in the lower abdomen, fever, and cloudy or bloody urine. In some cases, a person may have a CAUTI and not experience any symptoms.
Some patients may be at higher risk for developing a UTI due to older age, poor hygiene, or poor hydration (not drinking enough fluids). Female sex, older age, method of catheterization, duration of catheterization, and quality of catheter care are risk factors for CAUTI. (citation)  It is important that both the patient and thehealthcare providers take the appropriate steps to help prevent an infection.

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