What is a Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CA-UTI)? The urinary tract includes the organs that make, store, and release urine from your body. They are the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and the urethra. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs anywhere in the urinary tract. When a patient has a device known as urinary catheter inserted into their bladder to drain urine, an infection is more likely to occur. The longer a urinary catheter is left in place, the more likely an infection is to occur. This infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the blood (bacteremia) and cause even more serious infections.
Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CA-UTI) are included in a group of other healthcare associated infections that are considered potentially preventable. Urinary tract infections account for approximately 40% of all hospital-acquired infections annually around the world. With a catheter in place, the daily risk of developing a urinary tract infection ranges from 3% to 7%, and the longer the catheter remains in place the higher the risk: 25% greater at 1 week and 100% greater at 1 month. Besides the physical impact, developing a UTI at Baystate Medical Center has been shown to increase the length of stay (LOS) and the cost of care. For some patients, a bacteremia may develop which not only increases the LOS and cost per case, but also increases the patient’s risk of dying. These compelling numbers have caused hospitals, including Baystate Health hospitals, to focus on UTI prevention. UTI prevention includes inserting urinary catheters only in those patients who need them, maintaining them correctly and removing them as soon as they are no longer necessary as part of the patient’s supportive care.