Healthcare providers implement various techniques that help prevent a patient from contracting nosocomial infections. Perhaps the most common acquired and treated infection is a urinary tract infection caused by long-term indwelling catheter use. The use and insertion of catheters is typically avoided in hospitals because any catheter associated UTI that occurs while the patient is hospitalized, is no longer reimbursable. The population that has the greatest risk for developing UTI’s is older adults that reside in long-term care facilities that have medical conditions which require the use of long-term indwelling catheters (LTIC), usually more than 30 days. Conditions such as urinary retention, cognitive deficits, or urine leakage preventing a stage 3 or stage 4 pressure ulcers from healing are just a few examples why an LTIC may be indicated. Although infection is inevitable for these patients, ways to prevent catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), in clinical settings are being reviewed. The article “Preventing infection in elders with long-term indwelling urinary catheters”, examines three preventative measures: use of sliver tipped catheters, cranberry juice extract, and oral vaccine OM-89 (Bjornson & Macera, 2009, p. 127).
Before exploring ways to prevent CAUTI, understanding the physiological reasons these patients are prone to recurrent UTI’s is essential in treatment. The body’s natural response to an invader is to attack, which means that an indwelling urinary catheter is treated as a foreign body by the immune system. Within 6 hours of catheter placement, biofilm formation begins to adhere to the catheter providing a rich habitat for microorganisms to infect the host (Bjornson & Macera, 2009). Biofilm is responsible for approximately 65%-80% of infections and are up to 1000 times less receptive to antibiotics (Bjornson & Macera, 2009). The most frequent microbe to infect the host is the gram negative E. coli, as quickly as...
References: Bjornson, L & Macera, L, June 2009. Preventing infection in elders with long-term indwelling urinary catheters. American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Pages 127-134. Doi:10.1111/j.1745-7599.2010.00588.x
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