A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidney. UTIs are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The most important risk factor for developing a catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) is prolonged use of the urinary catheter. Therefore, catheters should only be used for appropriate indications and should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed.
A catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) occurs when germs (usually bacteria) enter the urinary tract through the urinary catheter and cause infection. CAUTIs have been associated with increased morbidity, mortality, healthcare costs, and length of stay. The risk of CAUTI can be reduced by ensuring that catheters are used only when needed and removed as soon as possible; that catheters are placed using proper aseptic technique; and that the closed sterile drainage system is maintained.
A catheter-associated bloodstream infection is serious, but often can be successfully treated with antibiotics. The catheter might need to be removed if you develop an infection.
To prevent catheter-associated bloodstream infections doctors and nurses will:
– Choose a vein where the catheter can be safely inserted and where the risk for infection is small.
– Clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before putting in the catheter.
– Wear a mask, cap, sterile gown, and sterile gloves when putting in the catheter to keep it sterile. The patient will be covered with
a sterile sheet.
– Clean the patient’s skin with an antiseptic cleanser before putting in the catheter.
– Clean their hands, wear gloves, and clean the catheter opening with an antiseptic solution before using the catheter to draw blood or give medications. Healthcare providers also clean their hands and wear gloves when changing the bandage that covers
the area where the catheter enters the skin.
– Decide every day if the patient still needs to have the catheter.The catheter will be removed as soon as it is no longer needed.
– Carefully handle medications and fluids that are given through the catheter.