Explanation: "A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in the urethra that left untreated, can spread to the bladder (bladder infection), and kidney (kidney infection). If the area where waste (urine and bowel movements) leaves your body is not kept clean, bacteria from your colon may multiply and enter the urethra (the tube that passes urine from your bladder to outside your body), causing a UTI. A UTI may also be caused by bacteria on a catheter (a soft tube used to drain urine) being used to drain the urine from the bladder."

Why is this important?: "Most urinary tract infections can be prevented by keeping the area clean, emptying the bladder regularly, and drinking enough fluid. Nursing home staff should make sure the resident has good hygiene. Finding the cause and getting early treatment of a UTI can prevent the infection from spreading and becoming more serious or causing complications like delirium. It is important to find out whether the UTI is caused by a physical problem, like an enlarged prostate, so proper medical treatment can be given."

 

Taken from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services: Nursing Home Information for Consumers

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