Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidney. UTIs are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Among UTIs acquired in the hospital, approximately 75% are associated with a urinary catheter, which is a tube inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine. Between 15-25% of hospitalized patients receive urinary catheters during their hospital stay. The most important risk factor for developing a catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) is prolonged use of the urinary catheter. Therefore, catheters should only be used for appropriate indications and should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed.
Resources for Patients
CDC, in collaboration with other organizations, has developed guidelines for the prevention of Catheter-associated UTIs and other types of healthcare-associated infections.
- Guideline for Prevention of Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections 2009 [PDF – 67 pages]
- CAUTI Guideline Fast Facts
- Watch this Podcast: Dr. Sanjay Saint discusses Catheter-associated UTIs
Facilities can monitor the rates of Catheter-associated UTIs and assess the effectiveness of prevention efforts through CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
- Page last reviewed: October 16, 2015
- Page last updated: October 16, 2015
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