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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2012 Apr;13(2):85-7. doi: 10.1089/sur.2011.053. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

Bladder pressure measurements and urinary tract infection in trauma patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia, USA.



The purpose of this trial was to determine if using a closed technique for bladder pressure measurements (BPMs) would eliminate them as a risk factor for urinary tract infection (UTI) in trauma patients, as was shown previously using an open technique.


Data were collected prospectively from January 2006 until December 2009 by a dedicated epidemiology nurse and combined with trauma registry data at our Level 1 trauma center. All trauma patients admitted to the surgical trauma intensive care unit (STICU) with and without UTIs were compared for demographic and epidemiologic data. A closed system was used in which the urinary drainage catheter (UDC) remained connected to the bag and 45 mL of saline was injected through a two-way valved sideport, with subsequent measurements through the sideport.


There were 1,641 patients in the trial. The UTI group was sicker (Injury Severity Score [ISS] 18.7±11.9 no UTI vs. 28±10.7 UTI; p<0.0001), with longer stays (11.4±12.4 days no UTI vs. 37.9±20.3 days UTI; p<0.0001) and more UDC days (4.3±6.6 no UTI vs. 23.9±16.6 UTI; p<0.0001). The BPM group had more UDC days (15.6 days±16.0 BPM vs. 5.4 days±7.3 no BPM; p<0.0001), yet no difference in UTI rate/1,000 UDC days (5.7 no BPM vs. 8.0 BPM; p=0.5291). Logistic regression demonstrated only UDC days to be a predictor of UTI (1.125; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.097-1.154; p<0.0001), whereas ISS (1.083, 95% CI 1.063-1.104; p<0.0001) and age (1.051, 95% CI 1.037-1.065; p<0.0001) were the only predictors of death.


Although patients undergoing BPM have more UTIs than patients without BPM, the measurements are not an independent predictor of UTI when done by the closed technique. These findings emphasize the judicious use of BPM with a closed system and, more importantly, the need for early removal of catheters.

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