Efforts to avoid catheter infections have resulted in a decrease in the number of infections
Infections are common in patients who use urinary catheters. According to a study led by University of Gothenburg researchers, more thorough health care prevention efforts cut the number of frail elderly people who got sick from 18 to 4%.
A total of 2,408 patients with acute hip fractures were treated at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Mölndal for the study, which was published in the Journal of Infection Prevention. Elderly people with hip fractures make up a substantial patient group in orthopedics, and their hospital stays are often lengthy.
A catheter-related urinary tract infection is the most common consequence in this group (UTI). A catheter is a thin, pliable tube that is put into the bladder to allow the patient to empty it when he or she is unable to do so due to injury or surgery.
Nonetheless, as the current study’s findings reveal, many of these hospital-acquired illnesses can be avoided. When a comprehensive, integrated set of preventative measures was implemented over a four-year period, the proportion of patients who developed infections decreased from 18.4% to 4.2 percent.After modifications, this equates to a 74% reduction.
Knowledge testing and training
The “theory-driven” precautions included strictly aseptic procedures that help maintain the catheter’s sterility when it’s put into the bladder. A training film for all employees was created, which went over catheter insertion step-by-step.
It was written by Maria Frödin, a clinical nursing specialist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and a PhD student in health and care sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, the University of Gothenburg, who is in charge of the study. She is the main author.
We established a standardized healthcare stage with well-defined processes, as well as required mandatory training in a learning lab for everybody whose employment entails catheterization. She clarifies, “It was similar to a driver’s license in that it required training on a dummy as well as taking a knowledge test.”
Collaboration is essential.
The teamwork of health professionals, as well as leaders and managers, is crucial, says Annette Erichsen Andersson, Associate Professor of Nursing at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and nurse at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, who led the study.
Collaboration and partnership have been the keys to this project’s success. It’s critical that these positive outcomes continue after the implementation period, and we’ve seen that they’ve improved over time, “she explains.
The fact that infections may be reduced and levels kept low even in weak and old patients is a significant finding, and it bodes well for the ongoing battle against infections acquired in a hospital setting, Erichsen Andersson adds.