Prevention of urinary tract infections in persons with spinal cord injury in home health care

Home Healthc Nurse. 2010 Apr;28(4):230-41. doi: 10.1097/NHH.0b013e3181dc1bcb.


More than 250,000 persons in the United States live with spinal cord injury (SCI), and 10,000 to 12,000 new injuries occur each year. Of these spinal cord injured persons, 53% have tetraplegia, 46% have paraplegia, and less than 1% experience complete neurologic recovery. About 48% have complete injuries (i.e., full quadriplegia) and 52% have incomplete injuries (; ). Almost all persons with neurologic impairment related to SCI have voiding dysfunction. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) have long been problematic for those living with SCI. Once the leading cause of death, urinary complications remain the leading cause of morbidity and the most common infection in persons with SCI (). This article provides a brief overview of spinal cord injuries and the effect of SCI on the urinary system. Factors that increase the risk for UTI will also be described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Home Nursing / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Paraplegia / therapy
  • Quadriplegia / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / therapy*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urinary Catheterization / methods*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*