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Nosocomial Urinary Tract Infections And the Indwelling Catheter : What Is New and What Is True?

Calvin M. Kunin, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Columbus, OH 
 ,  Dr. Kunin is Emeritus Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University.

Correspondence to: Calvin M. Kunin, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University, M110 Starling Loving Hall, 320 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210; e-mail: ckunin@columbus.rr.com



Chest. 2001;120(1):10-12. doi:10.1378/chest.120.1.10
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Extract

The urinary catheter is an essential part of modern medical care. It is widely used to relieve anatomic or physiologic obstructions, to provide a dry environment for comatose or incontinent patients, and to permit the accurate measurement of urinary output in severely ill patients. Unfortunately, when used inappropriately or when left in place too long, it is a hazard to the very patients that it is designed to protect. Catheter-associated urinary infections account for about 40% of all nosocomial infections and increase the duration of hospital stays, the costs, and mortality.12 Systemic antimicrobial therapy may temporarily reduce the bacterial count in the bladder urine but cannot eradicate infections in patients with indwelling urinary catheters.34 Inappropriate and excessive use of antimicrobial drugs leads to the selection of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and nosocomial outbreaks of infection with multiresistant strains.

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