APIC updates guidelines for CAUTIs

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, or APIC, recently issued updated guidelines to assist health care organizations in preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections, according to a press release.

The Guide to Preventing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) is an extension of the 2008 Elimination Guide and offers updated information about the epidemiology and causes of CAUTI and guidance on surveillance and reporting of cases. The latest edition also offers new information on patient safety and CAUTI prevention in certain at-risk populations, including pediatric, spinal cord injury, long-term care and ICU patients. Information about the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), a toolkit for nurses, clinicians and other health care providers, is also included. The guide is available for free on the APIC website.

“CAUTIs have been associated with increased morbidity, mortality, hospital cost and length of stay,” study researcher Kristi Felix, RN, CRRN, CIC, infection prevention coordinator of Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., said in the press release. “Furthermore, they often require antibiotics, contributing to unnecessary use of antibiotics and the problem of antibiotic resistance.”

Kristina K. Felix, RN, CRRN, CIC 

Kristi Felix

APIC was encouraged to issue the updated guidance after the CDC cited UTIs as one of the five most common types of health care-associated infections. In combination with other types of device-associated infections, CAUTIs accounted for approximately one quarter of all HAIs in the United States in 2011. According to APIC, an estimated 17% to 19% of CAUTIs can be prevented, totaling 380,000 infections and 9,000 deaths related to the infection each year.

Full, open access to the guide was made possible by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality through a national program called On the CUSP: Stop CAUTI, which is intended to reduce rates of CAUTI in US hospitals by 25%.

For more information:

CDC. Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) Toolkit.

Magill SS. N Engl J Med. 2014;370:1198-1208.