Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection Hospital Quality Indicator. Search the best hospital.
A Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection denoted as CAUTI, is one of the most common infections a patient can contract at a healthcare institution. This infection occurs when germs (typically bacteria) enter the urinary tract through the urinary catheter and cause infection.
What is a Urinary Catheter?
A catheter is inserted into a patient’s body who is unable to empty his/her bladder due to urinary retention or surgery. An indwelling urinary catheter is a drainage tube that is inserted into the urinary bladder through the urethra and connected to a collection bag. It basically drains urine from the bladder into the collection bag.
What are the Symptoms of a CAUTI?
CAUTI has similar symptoms to that of a urinary tract infection. The indicators include:-
What are the causes of CAUTI?
If not properly inserted, bacteria or fungi may enter the urinary tract through the catheter, leading to their multiplication inside the body causing an infection. There are different ways that CAUTI can occur during catheterization. Some of the prominent causes include:-
How is CAUTI Diagnosed and Treated?
CAUTI is commonly diagnosed through a Urinalysis that detects blood cells in the urine. Urine culture is another test that helps in identifying bacteria or fungi in the urine. Moreover, at times the bladder doesn’t move urine out of the body quickly enough, resulting in urinary retention. This can occur even when the catheter is inserted, and retained urine can increase the risks of bacterial growth. So, the doctor may recommend an imaging bladder test like an ultrasound scan to identify if the patient is retaining urine.
CAUTI can be treated by first changing or removing the catheter followed by prescribing antibiotics to the patient. The treatment is determined based on the patient’s infection level. Additionally, increasing fluid intake can also help in removing bacteria from the urinary system. However, certain fluids such as alcohol, citrus fruit juices, caffeinated beverages, etc. must be avoided.
Steps Taken by Healthcare Centers to Prevent CAUTIs
Being one of the most prevalent hospital-related infections, healthcare organizations often put great emphasis on preventing the spread of CAUTIs. Some of the precautionary measures used by medical practitioners include:-
Steps Patients Can Take to Prevent CAUTI
Patients with a urinary catheter can ensure the following precautions in order to prevent CAUTI:
Taking The Right Measures to Obtaining Quality Treatment
Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) are a common and expensive occurrence and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) are one of the most prevalent HAIs. CAUTI can be avoided at healthcare centers by practicing clear insertion and removal techniques. Moreover, frequent hand-washing and good hygiene practice by both, medical staff and patients also play a vital role in mitigating the risks associated with CAUTI. It is imperative for healthcare centers to take the necessary measures in order to maintain a low CAUTI rate and ensure quality care.
Dr. Rishab Sharma
Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.