Despite the prevalence of hospital-acquired urinary tract infections, or UTIs, hospitals are not using prevention practices that could significantly lower infection rates, according to a new study.
Hospital-acquired UTIs account for 40% of all nosocomial infections, and 25% of hospitalized patients have a catheter placed during their stay; however, fewer than one in 10 hospitals across the country are using a simple reminder system to remove urinary catheters in a timely fashion, according to Preventing Hospital-Acquired Urinary Tract Infection in the United States: A National Study, published in the Jan. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Other common practices shown to reduce infections, such as using catheters coated with anti-microbial agents and conducting bladder ultrasounds to measure urinary retention, were used in fewer than one-third of hospitals surveyed.
We could find no single, widely used strategy to prevent hospital-acquired UTI, the authors wrote in their study.
The study, led by Sanjay Saint, a professor of medicine in the department of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health Systems in Ann Arbor, relied on self-reported data from surveys mailed to infection-control officers at 719 hospitals nationwide. The sample, with a response rate of 72%, included all Veterans Affairs Department medical centers that had operating acute-care beds in 2004 and a stratified random sample of non-VA general medical and surgical hospitals. -- by Jean DerGurahian
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