Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
A catheter associated urinary tract infection (UTI) is an inflammation or infection of the bladder. This type of UTI is caused by using a urinary catheter. A urinary catheter is a thin tube that is placed through the urethra to drain urine from the bladder.
A urinary catheter is used:
What is going on in the body?
When a urinary catheter is put into the bladder, there is a chance that bacteria may be introduced. This may occur if:
The bacteria multiply in the bladder and cause a urinary tract infection. Bacteria called aerobic gram-negative rods account for most catheter-assocated UTI’s.
What are the causes and risks of the infection?
The risk of getting catheter associated UTI are increased in:
The risk increases the longer the urinary catheter is kept in place.
Symptoms & Signs
What are the signs and symptoms of the infection?
Only 20% to 30% of people with catheter associated UTI’s have symptoms. When symptoms are present, they may include:
Diagnosis & Tests
How is the infection diagnosed?
A catheter associated urinary tract infection is diagnosed by obtaining a urine specimen and sending it to the laboratory for a urine culture.
Prevention & Expectations
What can be done to prevent the infection?
The best way to prevent catheter associated UTI’s is to:
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
Untreated urinary tract infections can lead to bacteremia. Bacteremia is a condition where bacteria enter the bloodstream. This can be a life threatening illness.
What are the risks to others?
A catheter associated urinary tract infection is not contagious.
Treatment & Monitoring
What are the treatments for the infection?
A catheter associated UTI is treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic chosen will depend on the type of the bacteria found in the urine. If a fever is present, acetaminophen should be given. The urinary catheter should be removed as soon as possible.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
All medications have side effects and may cause allergic reactions. Antibiotics can cause stomach upset as well as other symptoms.
What happens after treatment for the infection?
A urine culture should be done at the end of the antibiotic therapy, to make sure the infection has cleared up.
How is the infection monitored?
If a person has a long-term urinary catheter in place, urine specimens should be obtained occasionally to check for any bacteria in the urine. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.
Article type: xmedgeneral