Addition of Bacitracin and Cranberry to Standard Foley Care Reduces Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections
Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) represent over 30% of hospital-acquired infections with an annual incidence of 560,000 CAUTIs per year in the United States. An estimated 13,000 deaths are attributable to CAUTIs annually. Standard prevention strategies frequently fail to eliminate CAUTI in intensive care units. The effectiveness of a hospital-based program of cranberry products (CP) and meatal antimicrobials to prevent CAUTI in a heterogeneous ICU population has not been evaluated. Methods: Data of Foley days and incidence of CAUTI in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) and the general wards (GW) in a single 245-bed suburban medical center were collected as a part of routine infection control surveillance. Standard CAUTI prevention bundles were applied throughout the hospital in 2009. In May 2012 an intervention of applying Bacitracin ointment to the urinary meatus-Foley junction and oral cranberry juice or tablets was started only in the CCU. A retrospective review of the data collected before and after the intervention in both the GW and CCU was completed. Results: Prior to the QI intervention in May 2012, average CAUTI rates were 2.8 CAUTIs per 1000 catheter days (CI 0.26-1.89) in the CCU and 1.6 CAUTIs per 1000 catheter days (CI 0.71-4.97) on the GW (p = 0.28). After the intervention, the average number of CAUTIs/1000 days in the CCU was 0, which was significantly different from the average of 1.52 CAUTIs/1000 days (CI 0.78-2.26) on the GW (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Our data indicate that the addition of cranberry-containing products and antimicrobial meatal care may further reduce incidence of CAUTI when added to standard recommendations. Further research will be necessary to determine if these interventions could be effective in a wider population.