VI. Scope and Purpose

Guideline for Prevention of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (2009)

This guideline updates and expands the original CDC Guideline for Prevention of CAUTI published in 1981. The revised guideline addresses the prevention of CAUTI for patients in need of either short- or long-term (i.e., > 30 days) urinary catheterization in any type of healthcare facility and evaluates evidence for alternative methods of urinary drainage, including intermittent catheterization, external catheters, and suprapubic catheters. The guideline also includes specific recommendations for implementation, performance measurement, and surveillance. Recommendations for further research are also provided to address the knowledge gaps in CAUTI prevention identified during the literature review.

To evaluate the evidence on preventing CAUTI, we examined data addressing three key questions and related subquestions:

  1. Who should receive urinary catheters?
    1. When is urinary catheterization necessary?
    2. What are the risk factors for CAUTI?
    3. What populations are at highest risk of mortality from catheters?
  1. For those who may require urinary catheters, what are the best practices? Specifically, what are the risks and benefits associated with:
    1. Different approaches to catheterization?
    2. Different catheters or collecting systems?
    3. Different catheter management techniques?
    4. Different systems interventions (i.e., quality improvement programs)?

This document is intended for use by infection prevention staff, healthcare epidemiologists, healthcare administrators, nurses, other healthcare providers, and persons responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating infection prevention and control programs for healthcare settings across the continuum of care. The guideline can also be used as a resource for societies or organizations that wish to develop more detailed implementation guidance for prevention of CAUTI.

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