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Urinary catheterization has risks and its use should be limited because it is the main cause of healthcare-associated urinary tract infection. Other risks are the potential for urethral injuries and the possibility that the catheter will be left in permanently. Rates of urinary catheterization in internal medicine departments generally range from 8% to 20%, with higher rates in older adult patients. Various attempts have been made to decrease catheterization rates with variable success. A major problem is that the guidelines and criteria for urinary catheterization are inconsistent and open to variable interpretations. More restrictive criteria based on observable patient benefit can reduce rates of urinary catheterization and may improve patient care.


Zvi Shimoni, Mark Niven, Paul Froom. Can in-hospital urinary catheterization rates be reduced with benefits outweighing the risks? Southern medical journal. 2013 Jun;106(6):369-71

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PMID: 23736178

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