How To Prevent/Minimize Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Proper Hand Hygiene & Wear Gloves – Always Wash Hands & Wear Gloves

Health care professionals should always observe proper technique to maintain a clean environment for insertion. Use good hand hygiene: Keep your hands clean and as free of germs as possible. Always wash your hands before and after you touch the catheter or insertion site. Wear clean medical gloves when you care for your catheter.  Improper adherence to hand hygiene and failure to use a clean insertion procedure are the two biggest culprits in urinary catheter infections.

Do Not Reuse Catheters

It is no longer recommended, nor necessary to reuse catheters. 

Effective April 1, 2008, the Medicare policy for intermittent catheterization recognized catheters as single-use devices, meaning doctors can prescribe catheters for single use, and users are reimbursed for each covered catheterization.  Medicare’s policy change to allow up to 200 intermittent catheters per month will help reduce UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) risk and make more choices available to people living with incontinence or who have permanent conditions requiring bladder care and management programs.  Although benefits vary by state, most Medicaid programs allows up to 120 intermittent catheters per month  

Washing and reusing catheters increases the likelihood of bacteria remaining in the catheter to be reinserted into the urinary tract, thereby causing infection. UTI’s are one of the most frequent and significant complications for intermittent catheter users.  To be safe, do not reuse catheters.

Keep Genital Area Clean

Clean area with soap and water, or wipe with sterilized antibacterial wipes.

Keep Drainage Bag Clean

Once you drain your catheter bag, be sure to clean and sterilize the bag’s connector. This will prevent bacteria and cross contaminants from entering the catheter system. For long-term catheter use, it’s best to occasionally clean and change the drainage bag itself.

Benefit of Hydrophilic Catheters

The benefits of hydrophilic-coated catheters are only available for a single use.  This is because the hydrophilic coating is removed when washed, and the catheter requires manual lubrication for reuse.  Clinical studies have documented that single-use hydrophilic-coated catheters significantly reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections, as well as urethral damage and trauma, and withdrawal friction, while simultaneously increasing user preference and patient satisfaction, as compared to uncoated catheters with lubrication. 

Remember to drink Plenty of Water Every Day

It is important to drink plenty of water. This will cause increased urination, which will help to flush bacteria from the urinary tract and speed healing. Avoid drink fluids that irritate the bladder, like alcohol and caffeine.  Along with increasing of water, drink cranberry juice which can help reduce the concentration of bacteria in a person's urine.

If UTIs continue, always talk to Your Doctor.

if you think you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or are concerned about getting recurrent infections, you should talk to your healthcare professional. Your healthcare professional can diagnose your condition, prescribe the proper treatment, and discuss ways to prevent future infections.

This website is NOT a substitute for medical or legal advice and does not constitute the practice of law, medicine, or any other health profession or provider.  The information this website provides is in summary form only and is intended to provide general consumer understanding. If you are having trouble urinating, you should always contact a physician since difficulty with voiding can be a symptom of a serious medical condition.  On this website, we are NOT practicing medicine, law,  or any other health profession. You should have your doctor evaluate your condition before diagnosing yourself, and seek the appropriate necessary  health counseling if warranted.  Donaco Medical Supply, Inc. disclaims any and all legal liability whatsoever.