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Alternative namesUTI - associated with a catheter; Urinary tract infection - associated with a catheter
DefinitionCatherer-associated urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection such as a bladder infection that is associated with the use of catheters used to drain urine from the body.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The presence of a catheter within the urinary tract increases the likelihood of urinary tract infection . It may also increase the difficulty of treating the infection.
If a urinary catheter is left in place for long periods of time, bacteria will inevitably grow in it. A harmful infection may occur if the number of bacteria becomes large or if specific pathologic bacteria grow in the urinary tract.
Signs and tests
Mild cases of acute UTI may disappear spontaneously without treatment. However, because of the risk of the infection spreading to the kidneys ( complicated UTI ), treatment is usually recommended. Also, due to the high mortality rate in the elderly population, prompt treatment is recommended. In most cases, treatment can be done on an outpatient basis.
Phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Pyridium) may be used to reduce the burning and urinary urgency associated with cystitis.
Cystitis associated with catheters is often difficult to treat. Most people who have a catheter in place for any period of time will develop some degree of cystitis.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if symptoms indicate cystitis or a catheter-related UTI might be present.
Prevention starts with the health care provider. Except in special circumstances, all urinary catheters should be placed in a sterile fashion. Insertion of a non-sterile catheter or using a non-sterile technique is much more likely to result in a urinary tract infection.
Routine care of the indwelling catheter MUST include daily cleansing of the urethral area and the catheter with soap and water. The area should also be thoroughly cleansed after all bowel movements to prevent infection. Experts no longer recommend using antimicrobial ointments around the catheter as they have not been shown to actually reduce infections.
Update Date: 5/25/2002Young Kang, M.D., Department of Urology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT