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July 1989

The Prevalence of Urethral Catheterization in Maryland Nursing Homes

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Medicine (Drs Warren and Tenney and Ms Steinberg) and the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Dr Hebel), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(7):1535-1537. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390070073009

• Urinary incontinence is common in the increasing numbers of aged people and is often the precipitating factor for nursing home admission. Recalcitrant incontinence may be managed by urethral catheters. In this study of a random stratified sample of Maryland nursing homes (4259 patients), we found that the daily prevalence of urethral catheter use in Maryland nursing homes was 7.5%. More than 80% of urethral catheter users were women. Among men, we found equal prevalences of urethral and condom catheter use. Previous studies have demonstrated long-term use of urethral catheters to be associated with almost universal bacteriuria of a polymicrobial and dynamic nature. Combining these data suggests that long-term catheter-associated bacteriuria is the most common infection in American health care facilities.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1535-1537)

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