When patients need a catheter after hospital admission, the risk of urinary tract infections is significant. Catheter care is a crucial aspect of mitigating that infection risk, but care providers can still make mistakes.
There are several common catheter-care mistakes your medical care team can make that increase your risk of a UTI.
Poor personal hygiene
One common source of bacteria introduction during catheter care is poor hand hygiene. When your care provider fails to replace their gloves, does not wash their hands well enough, or otherwise fails to adhere to the proper protocols, it increases the risk of an infection.
Poor catheter insertion
The manner of catheter insertion makes a difference in your risk of UTI as well. Incorrect insertion techniques can damage the urethra, which creates an entry point for bacteria. Healthcare professionals should understand proper aseptic techniques and create a sterile environment for catheter insertion. Failure to do so could be malpractice, especially if it leads to a UTI.
Catheters need consistent monitoring and maintenance to protect patients from UTIs. Routine cleaning and changing of catheter bags and assessment of the catheter site will reduce the risk of patient infections. If your care provider neglects your catheter care and you develop a UTI, you might have a case for malpractice.
Research shows that as much as 80% of complicated urinary tract infections result from urinary catheters left in place for a prolonged period. Preventing those infections starts with proper catheter care, including avoiding these mistakes. Medical care providers who make these mistakes could face malpractice claims.