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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidney. UTIs are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)A Catheter-Associated UTI (CAUTI) is a device associated HAI, resulting from an indwelling urethral catheter. Between 15-25% of hospitalized patients receive urinary catheters during their hospital stay. The most important risk factor for developing a CAUTI is prolonged use of the urinary catheter. Therefore, catheters should only be used for appropriate indications and should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed. A CAUTI is reported if a UTI based on established criteria occurs in a client that has had an indwelling urethral catheter in place within 48 hours before the onset of the UTI. The patient may be symptomatic or asymptomatic.

An indwelling urethral catheter, also referred to as a Foley catheter, is a urine drainage tube that is connected to a closed drainage system (bag). The catheter is inserted into the bladder through the urethra for the collection of urine over a period of time.

Refer to the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) document for details related to CAUTI, such as criteria for UTI, settings, requirements, definition, location of attribution, and reporting instructions.

CAUTIs that are attributed to medical wards/floors, surgical wards/floors, or medical surgical wards/floors, or if these locations are not present, mixed acuity or mixed age/mixed acuity wards, are required to be reported using the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network based on Alabama's HAI Rules and Regulations.

To help combat CAUTIs in the healthcare setting, the HAI program collaborated with the CDC to develop prevention material for use by healthcare providers.

Page last updated: May 13, 2021