Guidelines to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection: 1980 to 2010

Heart Lung. 2012 May;41(3):271-83. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2011.08.001. Epub 2011 Sep 17.


Objectives: We set out to review and compare guidelines to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), examine the association between recent federal initiatives and CAUTI guidelines, and recommend practices for preventing CAUTI that are associated with strong evidence and are consistent across guidelines.

Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections are the most common healthcare-associated infection, and a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients.

Methods: A search of the English-language literature for guidelines in the prevention of adult CAUTI, published between 1980 and 2010, was conducted in Medline and the National Guideline Clearinghouse.

Results: Many recommendations were consistent across 8 guidelines, including limited use of urinary catheters, the insertion of catheters aseptically, and the maintenance of a closed drainage system. The weight of evidence for some endorsed practices was limited, and different grading systems made comparisons across recommendations difficult. Federal initiatives are closely aligned with the 4 most recent guidelines.

Conclusion: Additional research into the prevention of CAUTI is needed, as is a harmonization of guideline grading systems for recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheter-Related Infections / complications
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Critical Illness
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Infection Control
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*