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Steps that can reduce the risk of UTIs include drinking plenty of liquids, especially water and possibly cranberry juice, and wiping from front to back (Mayo Clinic, 2020). Catheters should be removed as soon as they are no longer clinically indicated. This often makes patients more comfortable, reduces their exposure to infections, and shortens their time in hospital (IHI, 2012).
Don't get 'caught' in the CAUTI trap
One nurse's story: My father died of a heart attack at age 39, and our mother raised my siblings and me. We were all close to mom; however, as the oldest she and I had a special bond. At age 46 she had undergone a mitral valve replacement and her aortic valve was replaced about nine years later. She had survived a cardiac arrest and pulmonary artery rupture. When she was hospitalized with dehydration and acute kidney injury, we believed she would spend some time in the hospital and be discharged. Her kidney function improved with fluids, and her output was carefully monitored with a urinary catheter. She had a history of atrial fibrillation and her rate control medications were held. One day, her temperature soared to 102.8 F and her heart rate increased to 130 beats per minute. She developed sepsis, which placed further stress on her pulmonary and cardiovascular system. In June 2001 my mother died from complications related to a catheter associated urinary tract infection. She was 61 years old; I still miss her (Townsend et al, 2013).
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