Text Size
Increase text size
Increase text size
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment | Health Facilities

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infections

 

 

 

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. Typically, UTI involve the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra), however, if not treated, it can become serious and spread to the kidneys. A healthcare-associated UTI occurs when a patient acquires the infection during or following a stay at a healthcare facility. 

 

 Approximately 75% of UTI's in the healthcare setting are associated with a urinary catheter, which is a tube inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine. The most important risk factor for developing a catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) is leaving the catheter in place for too long. Catheters should only be used for appropriate indications and should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed. It is estimated that 17% to 69% of CAUTI’s may be prevented with recommended infection control measures. This means that up to 380,000 infections and 9,000 deaths related to CAUTI per year could be prevented.


 

Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection:
A catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) occurs when germs enter the urinary tract through the urinary catheter and cause infection. 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.  For more information for patients about CAUTI prevention click on the links below:

*** CAUTI is not a required reportable event to the Colorado State Health Department. However, it is a type of HAI.

You can learn more about CAUTIs from the CDC, and find answers to frequently asked questions.


Non-catheter associated Urinary Tract Infection:
A UTI is not attributable to the catheter device when the onset of symptoms occurs more than 48 hours after the removal of the catheter.