THE PROBLEM

Nurse And Patient

'THE MOST COMMON HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATED INFECTION WORLDWIDE'

We have an issue, a life-threatening issue. Right now, the medical field is succumbing to the detrimental yet preventable effects of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). The most common healthcare associated infection worldwide. 


In the UK, these infections can be seen occurring on a colossal scale, from within national hospitals to local care homes, creating a £100M economic burden on the NHS annually. Moreover, studies show that harm resulting from urinary catheters accounts for nearly 2000 deaths in the UK every year. Astonishing, right? The truth is, this isn’t just a UK problem, it’s a global problem.


You may be asking, why is this happening?


Current catheters were designed nearly 80 years ago, and haven’t faced any significant changes since then. However, the low manufacturing costs and affordable materials of current catheters have prevented new innovative solutions from succeeding.

LONG TERM CATHETERISED PATIENTS ISSUES (>28 DAYS)

  1. 50% of catheterised patients who reside in care homes develop a symptomatic urinary tract infection.

  2. Catheter blockage is a common feature amongst long term catheterised patients - a cause for CAUTI. This results from the build-up of salts and minerals from urine deposits. 

  3. The continual usage of antibiotics in order to prevent CAUTI development in long-term patients who have a history of symptomatic CAUTI, can result in bacterial resistance. Ultimately, certain antibiotics will become futile when treating the patient. 

Surgery
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SHORT TERM CATHETERISED PATIENT ISSUES (<28 DAYS)

  1. 15-25% of hospitalised patients receive a catheter, commonly pregnant women and surgical patients.

  2. There is a 5% increased risk of CAUTI each day.

  3. Even if the patient tests positive for CAUTI, unless they are symptomatic, then they shall not be treated. Therefore, it is imperative that a better bacteria-forming-resistant catheter is developed to delay microbial growth, consequently limiting the chances of the patient experiencing symptoms. 

  4. £1900 is spent per CAUTI episode (mainly on antibiotic treatment).