Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) account for approximately 40% of all health care-associated infections. Despite studies showing benefit of interventions for prevention of CAUTI, adoption of these practices has not occurred in many healthcare facilities in the United States. As urinary catheters account for the majority of healthcare-associated UTIs, the most important interventions are directed at avoiding placement of urinary catheters and promoting early removal when appropriate. Alternatives to indwelling catheters such as intermittent catheterization and condom catheters should be considered. If indwelling catheterization is appropriate, proper aseptic practices for catheter insertion and maintenance and use of a closed catheter collection system are essential for preventing CAUTI. The use of antimicrobial catheters also may be considered when the rates of CAUTI remain persistently high despite adherence to other evidence-based practices, or in patients deemed to be at high risk for CAUTI or its complications. Attention toward prevention of CAUTI will likely increase as Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other third-party payers no longer reimburse for hospital-acquired UTI.
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