Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU

This review provides a summary of CAUTI reduction strategies that are specific to the intensive care setting | Current Opinion in Critical Care

Purpose of review: Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) due to more frequent use of catheters and lower threshold for obtaining urine cultures.

Recent findings: The surveillance definition for CAUTI is imprecise and measures catheter-associated bacteriuria rather than true infection. Alternatives have been proposed, but CAUTI rates measured by this definition are currently required to be reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and high CAUTI rates can result in financial penalties. Although CAUTI may not directly result in significant patient harm, it has several indirect patient safety implications and CAUTI reduction has several benefits. Various bundles have been successful at reducing CAUTI both in individual institutions and on larger scales such as healthcare networks and entire states.

Summary: CAUTI reduction is possible in the ICU through a combination of reduced catheter usage, improved catheter care and stewardship of urine cultures.

Full reference: Sampathkumar, P. (2017) Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU. Current Opinion in Critical Care: Published online: 28 July 2017

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