To the Editor.—
In the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS section (1982;247:1493), the consultant responded in the affirmative to the query about the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of adding antimicrobial agents to urethral catheter drainage bags in an effort to reduce nosocomial urinary tract infections. The justification given is a reference to a regional American Urological Association meeting, and, unfortunately, these papers are currently not readily available to most JAMA readers for critical analysis. I'm sure that the consultant and The Journal are well meaning in the response, but I think the issue involved is much too important to be settled by such an informal consultation.Urinary tract infections associated with urethral catheter drainage bags remain the number one nosocomial infection in this country, and any efforts to prevent and control them should be considered carefully before adoption. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published guidelines for prevention of catheterassociated urinary tract
Rhodes LV. Reduction of Catheter-Induced Infections. JAMA. 1982;248(7):830–831. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330070018017
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