Urinary Tract Infections or UTI is one of the most common hospital acquired infections. It is mostly caused by fungus and in rare cases by bacteria. It enters through the urethra and if prolonged, will damage the kidneys.
The infection is mostly acquired due to the use of urinary catheters which is a tube inserted into the urethra. this tube helps drain urine into a collection bag for patients who are unable or not allowed to move from the bed.
The symptoms of urinary tract infection are:
-increased frequency of urine
-pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in men.
Hospitals, which are supposed to be sterile due to the many types of patients, are not expected to give infections in return. Patients and their families come to hospitals for finding a cure for ailments. Contracting an infection from a place which is considered a safe haven for the ailing is not something one would consider.
There has been a considerable rise of urinary tract infection in hospital environments due to the lowered immunity status of patients. Constant use of antibiotics too has caused an increase of drug resistant pathogens. This makes patients who are not only on antibiotics but also hospitalized highly vulnerable to the infection which has been proved fatal.
According to a study conducted about hospital acquired infections in India, UTI ranks the highest. Of the
130 patients’ data collected, 34.8% was urinary tract infection, followed by pneumonia 21.7% (5/130), 17.4% (4/130) surgical site infection, 13.0% (3/130) gastroenteritis, 13.0% (3/130) blood stream infection and meningitis. The nosocomial infection was seen more in the 40-60 year of age. The male were more prone to nosocomial infections than the female. Diabetes patients are prone to contracting the infection
without showing visible symptoms.
To avoid contracting UTI in hospitals
Do not touch the area around the catheter.
.• Make sure the drainage bag is below the level of your bladder to avoid urine from flowing back.
• Make sure the area around the catheter stays clean.
• Make sure the drainage bag is kept off the floor.
• inform the hospital staff if there is any burning, itching, or any new
pains. These are symptoms of urinary tract infection
and need to be treated.
• Drink extra fluids if the doctor says to.
• Don’t tug, pull or disconnect the tubing
With hospitals being a place one depends on, how do we trust hospitals where patients especially from MICU are exposed to fatal infections such as UTI? Therefore it is advisable to get a urine culture done for every patient that has been hospitalized and even more for those who were required to use a catheter.