A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary tract. This includes the urethra, a tube that carries urine out of the body, the bladder, and the kidneys. A catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) is an infection that starts while a catheter, or tube, is in place or shortly after it is taken out.
The tube is passed through the urethra into the bladder. It helps drain urine out when the body is not able to. A tube may be needed for certain health problems, when the area needs to heal, or during hospital care.
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CAUTI is caused by certain germs.
The tube makes it easier for germs to pass into the urinary tract. CAUTIs can happen when:
Just having a tube in place makes the risk of CAUTI higher.
CAUTI is more common in women. The chances of CAUTI are also higher in those with:
Not everyone with CAUTI has symptoms. In those that have them, symptoms may include:
These symptoms may appear after the tube is taken out:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health past. A physical exam will be done. Your answers and the exam may point to a UTI.
Tests are used to confirm a UTI or look for other causes of your symptoms. These may include:
The tube will be taken out as soon as it can.
Antibiotics will fight the infection. They may be given through an IV or taken by mouth. The medicine can be changed based what germ is causing problems.
The care team will:
People with a tube can make sure:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114310/Catheter-associated-urinary-tract-infection-CAUTI. Updated May 29, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2019.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hai/ca_uti/uti.html. Accessed March 28, 2017.
Hooton TM, Bradley SF, Cardenas DD, et al. Diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of catheter-associated urinary tract infection in adults: 2009 International Clinical Practice Guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50(5):625-663.
Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Last updated: 7/17/2019