Urinary catheters are used extensively to help patients manage either urinary incontinence or urinary retention. The catheter is a plastic tube which is placed in the bladder and drains urine into a drainage bag. Catheterised patients are very susceptible to infection. Some bacteria secrete enzymes which convert urea (in urine) to ammonia, which increases the pH of urine in the bladder. This increase in pH can cause precipitation of minerals which cause catheter blockage, which can lead to kidney failure, sepsis and death.
The team at the University of Bath have devised a simple, cheap diagnostic ‘lozenge’ which is placed in the urine drainage bag. If the urine pH increases a bright green coloured dye is released, which gives 12 hours warning of incipient blockage. This project will, for the first time test the utility of the diagnostic lozenge with infected and non-infected patient urine obtained from consenting patients at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.
•Catheterisation has been linked with a threefold increase in mortality in hospital patients and nursing home patients.
•CAUTI significant burden to the NHS: Most common HAI, and costs ~£123 million p.a. For community care cost estimated at ~£10,000 per patient p.a.
A simple, cheap diagnostic lozenge which is inserted directly into the urine drainage bag (left).
We thanks the Urology Foundation and the Annette Trust for genrous funding of this project.