Inside the program: Preventing CAUTIs in Long-Term Indwelling Catheters

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, March 22, 2010

The vast majority of indwelling catheters encountered in the acute care setting is inserted for a period of two weeks or less and are classified as short-term. However, nurses practicing in acute and critical care settings also care for patients with long-term indwelling catheters. As noted previously, these catheters remain in for at least 30 days, and many remain in for many months or even years.

The care of a patient with a long-term indwelling catheter differs from short-term care, and these differences influence the elements of an effective prevention. For example, maintenance of a closed urinary drainage system is effective for short-term catheterization; this is not feasible for long-term indwelling catheters because of the need to switch from a larger, overnight drainage bag to a smaller leg bag or belly bag while the patient is awake and active.

Similarly, even though substantial evidence supports the efficacy of antimicrobial catheters for seven to 14 days, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that they are effective for preventing CAUTIs in patients managed by long-term indwelling catheters.

Source: Preventing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections: Build an Evidence-Based Program To Improve Patient Outcomes

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