Urinary Tract Infections

Angie SzumlinskiNews

Last week we discussed the risks of sepsis in residents with pneumonia, but did you know that urinary tract infections (UTI) can often lead to sepsis as well? Although UTIs are common infections in even healthy adults, not all UTIs are treated quickly and can spread to the kidney, causing pain and severe illness. When this happens, the resident is at high risk for developing urosepsis, a form of sepsis caused by a UTI.

The majority of UTIs are in the lower part of the urinary tract, and if the kidney is infected it is called pyelonephritis. These infections are often caused by bacteria but can also be caused by a fungus, so treatment options need to be based on culture results. Symptoms vary from person to person and seniors may not show the typical signs of infection. However, many residents who develop a UTI may have confusion or a sudden change in behaviors. If you or your staff notice these symptoms it is important to contact the physician immediately to determine the best course of treatment.

Common signs and symptoms of a UTI include sudden and extreme urges to void, burning, irritation, pressure in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Another educational opportunity for your staff. Sepsis is real, it is often fatal and as caregivers, being aware of changes in residents urinary habits, behaviors, level of awareness, etc. is critical. Identifying changes early may save a resident’s life. Access the sepsis resources, do it today! Stay well and stay informed!