This Hospital Infection Don't Get No Respect

Cheryl Clark, May 30, 2013

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections are the Rodney Dangerfield of nosocomial infections. Too many nurses and doctors are inserting Foley catheters without sufficient regard for what is a potentially dangerous invasive device.

CAUTIs, or catheter-associated urinary tract infections, just aren't taken very seriously by many hospital providers. And that means doctors and nurses are missing opportunities to help their patients immensely, not just during their hospital stays but for months after they've been discharged.

In fact, "CAUTIs are the Rodney Dangerfield of nosocomial infections. They just can't get any respect," says Sanjay Saint, MD, a liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and an infection expert at the University of Michigan Medical School.

OK, I laughed when he said that during a phone interview this week, even though my own painful encounters with such infections decades ago were hardly funny.

But Saint, an author of two influential papers published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine that examined efforts to reduce CAUTIs in Michigan and in the rest of the country, wasn't throwing a punch line. He was quite serious.


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