The Association between Indwelling Urinary Catheter use in the Elderly and Urinary Tract Infection

October 2017

Ageing

Country of origin: USA

The use of indwelling urinary catheters (IUCs) is thought to be the most significant risk factor for developing nosocomial urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, it is unclear how many elderly patients have pre-existing bacteriuria prior to IUC placement. The purpose of this study was to determine 1) the frequency and appropriateness of IUC use in the Emergency Department (ED) in elderly patients admitted to our acute care hospital, 2) the percentage of elderly patients with an IUC who were discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of UTI, 3) the percentage of patients with IUCs who were diagnosed and treated for UTI in the ED or who had admission bacteriuria ¡Ý105 organisms/ml indicating pre-existing UTI, and 4) the percentage of patients with no indication of UTI on admission who had inappropriately placed IUCs and subsequently were diagnosed with a UTI.

This study indicates that the strong association between IUC use and UTI may be partly explained by the high prevalence of preexisting UTI prior to IUC placement. The study concludes that further prospective studies are needed to clarify the true risk vs benefit ratio for IUC use in acutely ill elderly patients.

The complete article can be found online.

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