Home Health & Hospice

Insider’s scoop | Avoiding CAUTIs

Homecare Insider, June 20, 2016

Editor’s note: This week’s Insider’s scoop is from Home Health Aide On-the-Go In-service Series, Volume 15. Leading agencies nationwide use this book as a resource for meeting CMS' requirement for 12 hours of in-service training. Click here for more information.

The presence of a catheter is the strongest predictor of infection. If a person has a catheter for more than six days, the risk of CAUTI increases sevenfold. The risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is almost 100% by day 30 of catheter use. However, many CAUTIs can be prevented by using proper infection control measures. It is important to know and follow the principles of closed drainage, as well as the proper care of the catheter and supplies. Staff should remember the following:

  • Provide catheter and perineal care according to agency policy and the instructions on your assignment sheet.
  • Secure the catheter tubing to the patient’s thigh as instructed or according to agency policy.
  • Take great care in changing from a bedside drainage system to a leg bag. Leg bags should not be worn in bed.
  • Avoid opening the closed drainage system whenever possible. Follow the assignment sheet and agency policy in cleansing drainage bags.
  • Keep the drainage bag below the level of the bladder when assisting with ambulation.
  • Always make certain there are no kinks in the drainage tubing and that the person is not sitting or lying on it.