A Simple Way to Reduce Catheter-associated UTIs

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Results may not apply to ­nonsurgical patients
This meta-analysis does not provide enough information to identify which patients are most likely to benefit from antibiotic prophylaxis. Most patients (92%) in this analysis had undergone surgery, but urinary catheterization is common among medically hospitalized patients. Studies of antibiotic prophylaxis at the time of catheter removal in nonsurgical patients are needed to strengthen the recommendation of this practice for all patients.

Some of the studies analyzed may have been biased. The authors determined that most of the studies in their meta-analysis were at high risk for attrition bias because there was potential for systematic differences in withdrawals between the treatment and control groups. In addition, in most studies, the randomization and allocation appeared to be inadequate, which increased the risk for selection bias.

Which antibiotics to use—and for how long—remains unclear
Antibiotic choice depends upon institutional policies and local resistance patterns, which complicates making universal recommendations. The optimal duration of treatment also is unknown, although this meta-analysis suggests that prophylaxis for three days or less can reduce CAUTI risk.

Catheters impregnated with antimicrobials or with microbial resistance barriers may be an alternative to administration of antibiotics at catheter removal, but in preliminary studies, these devices have not been shown to reduce the incidence of CAUTIs.4,5 Increasing antimicrobial resistance also complicates the widespread use of prophylaxis.

1. Marschall J, Carpenter CR, Fowler S, et al; CDC Prevention Epicenters Program. Antibiotic prophylaxis for urinary tract infections after removal of urinary catheter: meta-analysis. BMJ. 2013;346:f3147.

2. Gould CV, Umscheid CA, Agarwal RK, et al. Guideline for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections 2009. www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/cauti/cautiguideline2009final.pdf. Accessed November 12, 2014.

3. Lo E, Nicolle LE, Coffin SE, et al. Strategies to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections in acute care hospitals: 2014 update. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014;35:464-479.

4. Pickard R, Lam T, Maclennan G, et al. Types of urethral catheter for reducing symptomatic urinary tract infections in hospitalised adults requiring short-term catheterisation: multicentre randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of antimicrobial- and antiseptic-impregnated urethral catheters (the CATHETER trial). Health Technol Assess. 2012;16:1-197.

5. Pickard R, Lam T, MacLennan G, et al. Antimicrobial catheters for reduction of symptomatic urinary tract infection in adults requiring short-term catheterisation in hospital: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2012;380:1927-1935.

The PURLs Surveillance System was supported in part by Grant Number UL1RR024999 from the National Center For Research Resources, a Clinical Translational Science Award to the University of Chicago. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center For Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.

Copyright © 2014. The Family Physicians Inquiries Network. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from the Family Physicians Inquiries Network and The Journal of Family Practice. 2014;63(5):E10-E12.

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