Silver-coated catheters reduce CAUTIs

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Switching from a standard urinary catheter to one that's silver-alloy and hydrogel-coated cut symptomatic catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates in half, according to a study led by James Lederer, M.D., vice president of clinical improvement at Novant Health in North Carolina. 

Lederer and his colleagues collected data over the course of three years from seven acute care hospitals ranging in size from 124 to 607 beds, focusing specifically on adult patients who underwent Foley catheterization and whose urine tested positive for infection two or more days after admission. They compared symptomatic CAUTI rates at each hospital for at least three months during standard, non-silver-coated urinary catheter use and three months during use of the silver-alloy hydrogel catheters. 

They found that the use of silver-alloy hydrogel catheters decreased CAUTI rates by 47% compared to the standard catheter, regardless of which CAUTI definition was used. These also reduced time patients were on antibiotics, from 1,165 days among standard catheter users, to 406 days for silver-alloy hydrogel users.

Results appeared in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing