Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections

Dec 17, 2014 0 Comments in General Medical Posts by
Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections

Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary catheters are a medical device used to help drain urine from the bladder when an individual is unable to do so regularly. Having been used in medicine since the 18th century, they have provided relief to millions of patients around the world. However, as with many foreign body medical devices which are inserted into the body, they pose risks and side effects that should be taken into consideration by both the patient as well as the physician.

male sexual organ imageWhy Using a Catheter?

The inability to urinate can be caused by a variety of reasons and can result in a great amount of discomfort. Urinary catheters can help alleviate the discomfort while other methods are employed to cure the underlying causes of incontinence.

Common Complications

The most common complication that is associated with urinary catheters is an increased risk of urinary tract infections. As a means by which bacteria can attach and grow, up to 80% of urinary tract infections are associated with urinary catheters. As this can increase the morbidity and mortality rate of the person, caution should always be taken when considering the use of urinary catheters.

How to Avoid Catheter Risks?

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To lower the risk of urinary tract infections associated with catheters, there are several things which can be done:

  1. Restricting the time the catheter is used and inside the body. The less exposure to the body, the less chance of infection.
  2. Use of aseptic techniques when inserting and removing the catheter
  3. Use of antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin to help reduce the chance of an infection developing
  4. Maintenance of good hygiene at the urethral-catheter interface
  5. Allowing only trained healthcare providers to insert and remove the catheters

If you or someone you know has a urinary catheter, speak with a doctor about possible ways to diminish the risk of a urinary tract infection. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our office.