Prevalence of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Neurosurgical Intensive Care Patients - The Overdiagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections.

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are profound causes of prolonged hospital stay and worse patient outcomes. HAIs pose serious risks, particularly in neurosurgical patients in the intensive care unit, as these patients are seldom able to express symptoms of infection, with only elevated temperatures as the initial symptom. Data from Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) have shown that of all HAIs, urinary tract infections (UTIs) have been grossly over-reported, resulting in excessive and unnecessary antibiotic usage.

We conducted a retrospective analysis of 686 adult patients that were evaluated by the neurosurgery service at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center between July 2018 and March 2019. Inclusion criteria were adults greater than 18 years of age with neurosurgical pathology requiring a minimum of one full day admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), and an indwelling urinary catheter. Exclusion criteria were patients under the age of 18, those who did not spend any time in the ICU, or with renal pathologies such as renal failure.

We reviewed 686 patients from the neurosurgical census. In total, 146 adult patients with indwelling urinary catheters were selected into the statistical analysis. Most individuals spent an average of 8.91 ± 9.70 days in the ICU and had an indwelling catheter for approximately 8.14 ± 7.95 days. Forty-two out of the 146 individuals were found to have a temperature of 100.4°F or higher. Majority of the patients with an elevated temperature had an infectious source other than urine, such as sputum (22 out of 42, 52.38%), blood (three out of 42, 7.14%) or CSF (one out of 42, 2.38%). We were able to find only two individuals (4.76%) with a positive urine culture and no evidence of other positive cultures or deep vein thrombosis.

Our analysis shows evidence to support the newest IDSA guidelines that patients with elevated temperatures should have a clinical workup of all alternative etiologies prior to testing for a urinary source unless the clinical suspicion is high. This will help reduce the rate of unnecessary urine cultures, the over-diagnosis of asymptomatic bacteriuria, and the overuse of antibiotics. Based on our current findings, all potential sources of fever should be ruled out prior to obtaining urinalysis, and catheters should be removed as soon as they are not needed. Urinalysis with reflex to urine culture should be reserved for those cases where there remains a high index of clinical suspicion for a urinary source.

Cureus. 2019 Aug 26*** epublish ***

Stacey Podkovik, Harjyot Toor, Maya Gattupalli, Samir Kashyap, James Brazdzionis, Tye Patchana, Sruthi Bonda, Serena Wong, Christine Kang, Kevin Mo, Margaret Rose Wacker, Dan E Miulli, Sharon Wang

Neurosurgery, Riverside University Health System Medical Center, Moreno Valley, USA., Neurosurgery, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine California, Vallejo, USA., Neurosurgery, St. George's University School of Medicine, St. George's, GRD., Neurosurgery, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, USA., Neurosurgery, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Colton, USA., Infectious Disease, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Colton, USA.

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