High-Risk Patients and Complicated UTIs: Who's at Risk and Why?


Recognizing high-risk patients is crucial for effective management of UTIs, explains Kim Leuthner, PharmD, FIDSA.

Certain patient populations are at a higher risk of developing complicated UTIs.

In this first of 4 mini podcasts, Kim Leuthner, PharmD, FIDSA, explains the nuanced differences between complicated and uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Complicated UTIs involve factors such as devices, surgical involvement, and anatomical abnormalities that increase the risk of complications and bacterial infection. Treating these infections becomes more difficult due to the presence of a larger pathogen breeding ground. Understanding this difference is crucial for tailoring therapies to the specific needs of patients, says Leuthner.

Distinguishing between asymptomatic bacteria and complicated UTIs is important because not all patients with bacteria in their urine require treatment. While the urine and bladder can harbor bacteria without causing symptoms, patients with complicated devices provide an opportunity for pathogens to cause actual infections.

The presence or absence of symptoms is the key differentiating factor. Patients with complicated UTIs experience systemic symptoms like fever, aches, and back pain, while asymptomatic patients only exhibit the presence of bacteria in their urine. Proper differentiation guides appropriate treatment decisions.

At-risk patients include men, who face unique complications related to the prostate. Transplant patients and individuals with kidney stones, bladder stones, hydronephrosis, or stents are also prone to complications due to surgical interventions and abnormal urinary tract function. Identifying these high-risk patients is vital to ensure timely and appropriate management of UTIs.

Leuthner is an infectious disease clinical specialist at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Come back tomorrow for the next installment in this podcast series!

Related Videos
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.