Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI)

What is a CAUTI?

CAUTI or a catheter-associated urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system, including the bladder and kidneys.

How does a CAUTI happen?

Germs (such as bacteria or yeasts) do not normally live in these areas, but if introduced via a catheter, an infection may occur.

How do we prevent CAUTIs?

At Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, we prevent CAUTIs by taking precautions with both the insertion and maintenance of catheters: Insertion

  • We are careful to always wash hands thoroughly.
  • The placement of catheter is done as a sterile procedure.
  • We secure the tubing to the patient’s leg.
  • The catheter system is kept closed, reducing contamination risk.

Maintenance

  • We maintain a closed drainage system.
  • We make sure to maintain an unobstructed urinary flow.
  • We keep the fluid bag below the level of the bladder and off of the floor.
  • We do not clean perianal area with antiseptics.
  • We obtain all specimens via a closed access system after appropriate disinfection.

How often do catheter-associated urinary tract infections occur at Children’s Hospital?

CAUTI or a catheter-associated urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system, including the bladder and kidneys.On average, we see one urinary tract infection for every 1,700 days that patients have urinary catheters in our hospital.