Hospitalist Questions Urinary Tract Infections

Can catheters cause UTI's?

My father has been on a catheter and is now complaining of pain when he passes urine. Could it be a UTI due to the catheter?

6 Answers

Catheters can cause UTI’s. Catheters should be removed as soon as they possibly can.
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It may, but how long has he had the catheter? Urine culture will determine if he has an infection.
It could be. But there are other reasons why he might have that sensation as well one of which would be bladder spasms. It's important that the area around the penis where the catheter is inserted be cleaned regularly with soap and water. This could help prevent any type of infection.
Catheters very frequently cause UTIs. We usually only place catheters in the hospital if there is a good reason such as urinary obstruction or in select cases a need to have accurate urine output. If there is no clear indication for a catheter in your father it should absolutely be removed and he should have a urinalysis to screen for a UTI.

Jack Stephens, MD
Catheter associated UTIs are common and can cause pain with urination. A urinalysis would reveal whether there is bacteria growing in the urine, which may prompt antibiotic treatment by your physician.