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CAUTI– Preventing the Most Common HAI (Part 2)

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog

Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC

Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC
Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC

As an infection preventionist who is addressing this issue on a daily basis, I agree with Dr. Gould’s interpretation.

Despite the fact that urinary tract infections( UTI’s) are the most common healthcare-associated infection (HAI’s), they have traditionally not received the same level of attention as have other HAI’s. Most UTI’s are associated with the presence of a urinary catheter. Urinary catheters are used frequently in healthcare settings, however many of these catheters are not necessary and are sometimes inserted without appropriate justification. Often, this leads to overuse and misuse of antibiotics to treat these infections, which can lead to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria. Because UTI’s can compromise one of the largest reservoirs of multidrug-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings, it is essential that we find ways to minimize their occurrence.

What are we doing about this? The Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) continues to work on ways to bring science to the bedside. In 2008, we developed a catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) elimination guide. This CAUTI guide was developed to serve as a comprehensive tool to questions posed by our members. The APIC elimination guides are developed in sync with guidelines released by CDC, thereby helping to translate evidence into clinical practice and sharing strategies and tools which others have found to be successful.

How do we deal with the problem going forward? Well, it’s important to remember that sometimes the answer can be attention to simple processes such as the UTI bundle. These bundles are groups of care processes which, when taken as a whole, can reduce the risk of infection. They also require healthcare workers to function as a team, working together to improve patient care. For example, the UTI bundle focuses on proper technique when a catheter is inserted, checking to make sure that a catheter is needed, looking at alternatives to a catheter and always removing the catheter when it is no longer needed.

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog

28 comments on “CAUTI– Preventing the Most Common HAI (Part 2)”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    great post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not realize this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

    Thank’s to you for this great homepage and your fantastic work!!
    Disease control is so important.

    Awesome, Just read through the guide you had listed above about UTI elimination. It’s great. I had a UTI once, not fun and I wish I had read this guide earlier, would have really helped me in the painfull battle with the infection. None the less, Thanks Linda:)

    saw this article bookmarked and really liked what I read. I will certainly bookmark it too and check the other articles when I get home.

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

    Can you please explain how pathogens arrive on a catheter in the first place. Is there contamination during the insertions process?

    Nurse Greene’s article is great. It tells how easy it can be to eliminate urinary tract infections from catheter use. Training is the major key from reading Nurse Greene’s report. The people who put the catheters in must use the proper way of inserting them; people must study and know the catheter use and cleaning guidelines; and people involved in managing the patient’s catheter must work as a team and each know what the others are doing on it. The other critical part of the process is the cleaning, steralizing, and testing for bacteria of the catheters before they are used or re-used. It also is true that many times a catheter is used when not necessary. When it is necessary, it needs to be used. But in other cases, the doctor or nurse who wants to use a catheter on a patient should first empower the patient in the process and ask them if that is what they want, what the benefits and risks are, and what kinds of alternatives there are, andlet the patient make the decision. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

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