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CAUTI - 7 Ways to Prevent Catheter-Associated Infections

CAUTI - 7 Ways to Prevent Catheter-Associated Infections
Shweta Chaubey

Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection, abbreviated as CAUTI is the urinary tract infection caused due to the use of a urinary catheter placed into the bladder to drain urine. Prolonged use of catheters can introduce harmful bacteria into the urethral system and cause UTI.   

Urinary catheters help people urinate when they can’t do so on their own. Often it is done to examine the amount of urine produced pre-post-surgery or to test the urinary system. During indwelling catheterization, germs can travel along the catheter or develop while it stays there and lead to catheter associated infection. 

Statistically speaking, according to an article by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, “among urinary tract infections acquired in the hospital, approximately 75% are associated with a urinary catheter. Subsequently, there are an estimated 13,000 annual death attributed to CAUTI.”  

What are the symptoms of catheter associated UTI? 

Some of the common catheter infection symptoms are -   

  • Burning sensation or pain in the lower belly  
  • Fever  
  • Bloody in urine  
  • Burning during urination   
  • Frequent urination  

It is important to note that sometimes, people with catheter associated infection may not experience any or all the above-mentioned symptoms. If you suspect catheter infection, consult your doctor immediately. They will prescribe antibiotics or remove or change the catheter.   

Your doctor may also ask you to make some changes to your catheterization routine to prevent the chances of infection from catheter in future. Here is what your doctor might suggest -   

7 Ways to Prevent CAUTIs  

Best 7 Ways to Prevent Catheter-Associated Infections

1. Try intermittent catheterization  

Unlike indwelling ones, intermittent catheters do not stay inside the urethra for long period. An intermittent catheter is inserted only when the bladder gets full, and it is time to drain it into a urine bag.  

It reduces the risks of kidney and bladder infections, urethral strictures or male infertility, prevents discomfort and allows for more freedom of movement. 

2. Hygiene and sterilization practices  

Catheterization involves dealing with bodily fluids, which may contain germs and bacteria. Wash your hands before and after the process to avoid any chances of CAUTI.  

Moreover, it is essential to clean the catheter and the perineal area after the procedure to inhibit harmful bacterial growth. 

3. Use external catheters  

These are also known as condom catheters. As their name suggests, these are placed on the penis and not inside it to prevent infection from catheter. These look like a condom and collect urine into a bag or drainage system. They are helpful in treating short-term male incontinence.   

4. Secure the catheter tubing  

Secure the catheter tubing and leg bags properly to prevent pulling on the catheter. Make sure there are no twists or kinks in the catheter. Additionally, try not disconnecting the catheter and drain tube helps to prevent germs from getting into the catheter tube and cause CAUTI.   

5. Use disposable drain bags  

A leg bag is attached to either of the legs, whichever is most comfortable to the patient and the urine gets collected in it. Using single use disposable bedside bags at night can help reduce the risk of infection.   

According to an article by NHS, nights demand for larger drain bags. Choose a bag that can be attached to your leg or catheter valve and placed next to the bed or near the floor. These bags are ideal for collecting urine while you sleep.  

6. Keep the urine bag lower than the bladder  

The rule of gravity applies here, keeping the urine bag at a level lower than the bladder prevents urine from backflowing to the bladder. Also, make sure there are no kinks or bends in the catheter tube to ensure continuous flow to the urine bag.  

Subsequently, make a habit of emptying the bag on a regular basis, at least once every eight hours.   

7. Keep yourself hydrated  

According to a research paper published by the National Library of Medicine, dehydration is often deemed as a huge contributor to CAUTI. Drinking water flushes the bacteria out from your system. Make sure you are always hydrated. Good hydration and nutrition ensure better prevention of CAUTI and other problems such as constipation.   

More about Catheter-Associated Infections  

1. Can catheter-associated urinary tract infections be treated?  

Yes, most catheter infections are easily treatable with antibiotics. Your doctor may also prescribe a catheter change to prevent instances of recurring urinary tract infection from catheter.   

2. What are healthcare associated infections?  

Healthcare-associated infections or HAIs are infections a patient might get during their treatment in a healthcare facility for a certain condition. CAUTI is one of the most common HAIs and can happen in any health care facility, including hospitals and long-term care facilities.  

3. What is the strongest risk factor for CAUTI infection?  

Prolonged use of indwelling urethral catheters is considered the strongest risk factor for the development of catheter infection.   

4. What is the difference between a UTI and a CAUTI?  

CAUTIs are considered more resistant than other UTIs. These are more dangerous than common urinary infections since they can potentially lead to severe kidney dysfunction.   

5. Which type of urinary catheter has low risk of infection?  

Many studies have concluded that use of intermittent catheters, suprapubic, and silver coated catheters can reduce the risks of infection.  

6. How long does it take for a CAUTI to develop?  

Typically, it takes catheter infection approximately three days to develop after the catheter placement.  

CAUTIs are a common catheter problem and dealing with them is easier if you have all the important catheter supplies and right information by your side.   

HPFY has been your health and wellness partner since 2002. We offer a wide range of catheter supplies including sterile closed catheter systems, and other hygiene control products to minimize the catheter infection symptoms. Explore our catalog today to find the right supplies.

Products To Help Prevent CAUTI 



Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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