Catheter use and infection reduction in plastic surgery

Zach J. Barnes, Raman C. Mahabir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) are the most common hospital-associated infection and can result in increased health care costs, morbidity and even mortality. In 2009, The Scott & White Memorial Hospital/Texas A&M Health Science Center (Texas, USA) system's CAUTI rate placed it in the upper quartile (ie, highest rate) for the country, necessitating a system-wide change. Objective: To design and implement a guideline to reduce the incidence of CAUTI. Methods: A multidisciplinary team was formed and completed both a root cause analysis and a review of the available literature. Consolidating the best evidence, the team formulated a best practice guideline detailing the proper indications for insertion of, improper use of and techniques to minimize infection with catheters. Included as part of this protocol was nursing and patient education, changes in identifying patients with a catheter and automatic termination orders. Three-, six- and 12-month reviews identifying additional opportunities for improvement at the end of 2010 were completed. Results: In 2009, the hospital's CAUTI rate was 1.46 per 1000 catheter days. In 2011 - the first complete year of the finalized guideline - the hospital's CAUTI rate was 0.52 per 1000 catheter days, ranking the institution in the bottom quartile (ie, lowest rate) for the country. The surgery and plastic surgery subgroup analyses also demonstrated statistically significant reduction in both catheter use and CAUTI. Conclusion: The incidence of CAUTI was successfully reduced at The Texas A&M Healthcare Center. The guideline, its development and how it applies to plastic surgery patients are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Catheter
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection CAUTI
  • Hospital-associated infection HAI
  • Infection
  • Infection reduction
  • Risk reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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