Catheterized Patients

An indwelling catheter is commonly used in various health care settings and is asso-

ciated with UTIs. Bacteria may be introduced into the bladder via the catheter in several ways including direct infection introduction during catheterization (via colonization and subsequently traveling the length of the catheter through bacterial motility or capillary action). UTIs as a result of an indwelling catheter are common and occur at a rate of 5% per day of catheter presence.43

The approach in the setting of a patient with bacteriuria and an indwelling urinary catheter follows two paths. The first, in asymptomatic patients with catheterization, is to hold antibiotics and remove the catheter if possible. The second, in symptomatic patients with catheterization, is to initiate antibiotic therapy and removal of the catheter if possible. In both of the above situations, if discontinuation of the catheter is not possible, the patient should be recatheterized with a new urinary catheter if the previous catheter is greater than 2 weeks old.

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