What is a CAUTI?


What is a CAUTI?

Last updated 01/06/20

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common occurrence amongst catheter users. Specifically referred to as a catheter associated UTI (CAUTI), bacteria can develop on the exterior surface of the catheter, potentially entering the body via the urethra and causing an infection.[1]

To help you protect your body against UTIs, we’ve put together this short article. ConvaTec helps you identify the early signs and advanced warnings of UTIs, ensuring you can recognise one when it’s coming and know when to seek treatment. Read on and better prepare yourself.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

While many UTIs are asymptomatic – that is the patient experiences no symptoms – they can frequently be unpleasant and painful.

Symptoms of a UTI can include[2]:

  • Painful and frequent urination
  • Pain above the pubic bone
  • Cloudy, bloody or odorous urine
  • Feeling of needing to urinate but being unable to, similar to an overactive bladder [3]
  • Fever of chills should the infection reach the kidneys [4] 


How can I prevent a UTI?

Use of clean or sterile catheterisation technique has been proven to minimise the risk of UTIs.[5] This risk can be further minimised through use of the no-touch technique.[6]

What should I do to treat a CAUTI?

Your healthcare professional will be able to provide the best advice on treatment of a CAUTI. Initially, the need for the current catheter will be assessed, and a replacement suggested.[7] You may be recommended a course of antibiotics if you are symptomatic.[8]

If you suspect that you have a UTI or are looking for further information on preventing one, speak to your healthcare provider.






[1] Nickel, J.C. and Costerton, J.W., 1992. Bacterial biofilms and catheters: A key to understanding bacterial strategies in catheter-associated urinary tract infection. Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, 3(5), pp.261-267.




[5] Duffy, L.M., Cleary, J., Ahern, S., Kuskowski, M.A., West, M., Wheeler, L. and Mortimer, J.A., 1995. Clean intermittent catheterization: Safe, cost‐effective bladder management for male residents of VA nursing homes. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 43(8), pp.865-870.


[7] South Australia. Department for Health and Wellbeing (SA Health). (2017) Empirical treatment of Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections (adults) Clinical Guideline. Available at (Accessed 6 March 2020)

[8] United Kingdom. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2018) Urinary tract infection (catheter-associated): antimicrobial prescribing Available at (Accessed 6 March 2020)