Women risk unneeded urinary procedure

Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:13 PM
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DETROIT, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Elderly women are at higher risk for unnecessary urinary catheterization, which is a major risk for urinary tract infection, U.S. researchers say.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at St. John Hospital and Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit say urinary tract catheterization is a major risk factor for developing urinary tract infections -- the reason for one-third of all hospital-acquired infections.

The study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, finds half of female patients age 80 or older subjected to urinary tract catheterization did not meet institutional guidelines for the procedure.

Women were 1.9 times more likely than men -- and those age 80 and older were 2.9 times more likely than those 50 years and younger -- to have a urinary catheter inappropriately placed.

"The inappropriate urinary catheter utilization has been a ubiquitous problem in the hospital setting," the study authors say in a statement. "This translates to additional preventable or avoidable urinary tract infections and other complications."

The researchers found it was twice as likely for women as for men to have a non-indicated urinary catheter placement.

The study was based on 532 emergency room patients who received urinary catheters.

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