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Catheter-associated UTI prevention guide released

May 29, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Urinary tract infections are one of the five most common types of healthcare-associated infections in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has issued an updated guide, available as a free, online download, to help healthcare organizations prevent these infections.

Developed by a team of infection prevention experts, the new edition of the Guide to Preventing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) expands on the association’s 2008 Elimination Guide and contains:

  • New information on CAUTI prevention in special populations, including long-term care residents and those in intensive care units, children and those with spinal cord injuries;
  • Updated content on the epidemiology and causes of CAUTI;
  • Detailed information on surveillance and reporting;
  • New content that addresses patient/resident safety, the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (also known as CUSP) and other behavioral models for CAUTI prevention;
  • Best practices on CAUTI prevention; and
  • Prevention case studies.

“CAUTIs have been associated with increased morbidity, mortality, hospital cost and length of stay,” says lead author Kristi Felix, BA, RN, CRRN, CIC, infection prevention coordinator of Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb. “Furthermore, they often require antibiotics, contributing to unnecessary use of antibiotics and the problem of antibiotic resistance.”

An estimated 17 percent to 69 percent of CAUTI could be prevented, reducing annual CAUTI-related infections and deaths by 380,000 and 9,000, respectively, APIC estimates.

Distribution of the guide as a full-access online resource from the APIC website is made possible by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality through the national On the CUSP: Stop CAUTI project, which aims to reduce mean rates of CAUTI in U.S. hospitals by 25 percent. The initiative is working with APIC, state organizations and more than 900 hospital units in 41 states across the country to implement the CUSP and CAUTI reduction practices.

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