The use of indwelling catheters in the Critical Care Units (CCUs) has a major role in determining the incidence and the morbidity as well as mortality from hospital-acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs). Instituting evidence-based protocols can significantly reduce both the prevalence of indwelling catheterization as well as the incidence of hospital-acquired UTIs. The prevalence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in the CCUs is directly linked to the widespread use of indwelling catheters in these settings. CAUTIs result in significant cost escalation for individual hospitals as well as the healthcare system as a whole. A UTI is an inflammatory response to colonization of the urinary tract, most commonly by bacteria or fungi. A UTI should be differentiated from the mere detection of bacteria in the urinary tract. This condition, referred to as asymptomatic bacteriuria, is common and does not require treatment, especially in the patient with an indwelling urinary catheter. A CAUTI occurs when a patient with an indwelling urinary catheter develops 2 or more signs or symptoms of a UTI such as hematuria, fever, suprapubic or flank pain, change in urine character, and altered mental status. CAUTI is classified as a complicated UTI. The current review highlights the important management issues in critical care patients having CAUTI. We performed a MEDLINE search using combinations of keywords such as urinary tract infection, critical care unit and indwelling urinary catheter. We reviewed the relevant publications with regard to CAUTI in patients in CCU.
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