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How to Prevent Catheter-associated UTI

by Karan Gupta 04 Dec 2022

Catheter-associated UTI is adults' most common form of urinary tract infection (UTI). Unfortunately, it's also one of the most difficult to treat because it requires a catheter — a narrow tube inserted into your bladder through your urethra — to be removed. 

What is a catheter? 

A catheter is a tube with a narrow end and a wider end. The narrow end is inserted into the body to collect urine, and the wide end is placed in the bladder to drain urine. Catheters are used for many different reasons, including: 

  • bladder emptying procedures (such as cystoscopy) 
  • obstetrical care  
  • pregnancy tests 
  • coma patients 

A catheter is commonly used during surgery, especially on people who have had spinal cord injuries or other conditions that make it challenging to keep the bladder empty. It may also be inserted into the bladder in people with urinary incontinence or those who need long-term drainage of urine from their bladders. Catheters are usually removed once they are no longer needed for treatment, but some people leave them in for extended periods of time without removing them.  

How does a catheter cause UTI? 

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are the most common infection in women. UTIs can result from a wide range of causes, including: 

  • Incontinence 
  • Chronic kidney disease 
  • Infection with certain bacteria or fungi 

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria entering through breaks in the urethra, which is part of the urinary tract and connects to the outside world. Bacteria may enter through these openings if accidental trauma occurs during catheterization or if a new catheter is inserted into an existing catheterization site. 

The urinary tract is a natural barrier that keeps bacteria and other harmful substances out of the body. When catheters treat urinary incontinence, they help keep bacteria out of the bladder by allowing urine to flow freely through them. But when they're used without incontinence, they can introduce harmful bacteria into the urinary tract. 

How to prevent UTI infections while using a catheter: 

Clean the catheter frequently: 

Avoiding UTI is an integral part of if you are using a catheter regularly. If you have a catheter, you should regularly clean it with alcohol or waterless wipes. You should also always wash your hands before inserting the catheter or removing it. If you have a central line or indwelling catheter, you must clean it often with alcohol or waterless wipes. You can also use an angled brush to remove bacteria from the catheter's interior. 

Keep your hands clean: 

Personal hygiene is the most crucial part of curing and preventing catheter-associated UTI. Ensure the person inserting the catheter has disinfected his/her hands before and even afterwards.  

Empty the catheter frequently: 

Sometimes people leave the catheter for 2 days, which is really unhygienic for the patient and the people around them. Ensure to empty the pouch at the end of the day. It helps prevent foul odour. Change the catheter tubing and bag every 7 days or as your healthcare provider recommends. 

Follow the guidelines of using a catheter: 

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are among the most common hospital-acquired infections. To prevent CAUTIs, it is essential to carefully follow infection control guidelines when inserting and maintaining urinary catheters. This includes using a sterile technique, avoiding unnecessary catheterization, and properly maintaining the catheter and surrounding area.  

Monitor regularly: 

 It is also essential to monitor the catheter regularly for signs of infection and to remove the catheter as soon as it is no longer needed. Additionally, some evidence suggests that using antimicrobial-impregnated catheters and/or urinary catheter irrigation may help prevent CAUTIs. 

Clean your private parts: 

Another integral aspect of preventing CAUTIs is maintaining intimate hygiene. Especially for women, it's important to remember that vagina is a self-cleaning device. So instead of using chemical products, you can easily wash it with lukewarm water and soap.  

Others: 

  • Avoid using lubricants or creams on the catheter, as these can increase the risk of infection. 
  • Avoid catheter manipulation, such as tugging or pulling on the catheter, which can cause irritation and increase the risk of infection. 
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract. 
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about using an antimicrobial catheter or using a catheter with a hydrophilic coating to reduce the risk of infection. 
  • Avoid using a catheter if possible, and discuss alternative options with your healthcare provider. 

How cranberry juice benefits UTI? 

Cranberry juice has been shown to have potential benefits in preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). It contains a compound called proanthocyanins, which can prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract and causing infections. In addition, some studies have found that drinking cranberry juice regularly may help reduce the risk of UTIs, especially in women prone to them. Most health experts suggest sugar-free cranberry juice for UTI, just like andMe's 100% vegan and toxin-free UTI drink. This UTI drink benefits your overall urinary system and helps flush out toxins from the urinary tract.  

How much cranberry juice should I drink for a UTI? 

If you are recovering from UTI, drink twice a day and if you are preventing UTI, drink once a day.  

uti drink

 

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