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- When you have an indwelling urinary catheter, you are more likely to develop a UTI. These infections are more likely if you have the catheter in place for a long time.
- Bacteria cause most UTIs that are related to having a catheter. A fungus called Candida can also cause UTIs.
UTI – catheter associated; Urinary tract infection – catheter associated; Nosocomial UTI; Health care associated UTI; Catheter-associated bacteriuria
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Many types of bacteria or fungi can cause a catheter-related UTI. In general, they are more resistant to common antibiotics than bacteria causing other types of UTIs.
Common reasons to have an indwelling catheter are:
- Urine leakage (incontinence)
- Not being able to urinate
- Surgery on your bladder, prostate, or vagina
During a hospital stay, you may have an indwelling catheter:
- Right after any type of surgery
- If you are very ill and cannot control your urine
Abnormal urine color( cloudy urine) Blood in the urine( hematuria)
- Foul or strong urine odor
- Frequent and strong urge to urinate
- Pressure, pain, or spasms in your back or the lower part of your belly
- Leakage of urine around the catheter
Other symptoms that may occur with a UTI:
Fatigue Fever Flank pain Mental changesor confusion* Vomiting
*Often in an elderly person, mental changes or confusion are the only signs of a possible
Signs and tests
Urine tests will check for infection:
Urinalysismay show white blood cells (WBCs) or red blood cells (RBCs). Urine culturecan help determine the type of bacteria in the urine and the appropriate antibiotic treatment.
Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound or CT exam of your urinary system.
Because there is a risk that your infection may spread to your kidneys, antibiotics are almost always used to treat a UTI.
- Most of the time, you can take antibiotics by mouth. It is very important to take all of them, even if you feel better before you finish them.
- If your infection is more severe, you may need to receive antibiotics directly into your bloodstream. These will be given through an intravenous line, or IV.
- Besides antibiotics, you may also receive medicine to lessen bladder spasms.
Your catheter will need to be changed when you have a UTI.
You will need more fluids to help flush bacteria out of your bladder.
- If you are treating yourself at home, this may mean drinking 2 – 3 quarts of fluid a day, if your doctor says this is okay.
- Avoid fluids that irritate your bladder. Some of these are alcohol, citrus juices, and drinks that have caffeine in them.
After you have finished your treatment, you will have another urine test to make sure the bacteria are gone.
UTIs related to catheters can be harder to treat than other UTIs. Having many infections over time may lead to kidney damage or kidney stones and bladder stones.
If a UTI is not treated, you may develop kidney damage and more severe infections.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have:
Any symptoms a urinary tract infection
If you have an indwelling catheter,
- Clean around your urethra (where the catheter comes out) every day.
- Clean the catheter with soap and water every day.
- Clean your bottom thoroughly after every bowel movement.
- Always keep your drainage bag lower than your bladder so that the urine in the bag does not go back into your bladder.
Empty the drainage bagat least every 8 yours, or whenever it is full.
- Have your indwelling catheter changed at least once a month.
- Wash your hands before and after you touch your urine.
Your health care provider might advise you to drink more fluids every day. This is not healthy for everyone, so talk with your doctor before you do this.
Your health care provider may prescribe a low-dose antibiotic to take every day to keep bacteria from growing in your catheter.