Nursing Home Complaint Regarding Urinary Tract Infections

Large numbers of nursing home residents end up having catheters placed. Unfortunately, catheter use is strongly associated with the development of urinary tract infections, especially in women. This coupled with poor catheter care practices results in high numbers of nursing home residents developing urinary tract infections. This can result in unnecessary hospitalizations and use of powerful antibiotic medications which carry a whole set of risky side effects.

The applicable federal regulations make it clear that catheter use should be minimized and steps taken to prevent the development of urinary tract infections:

(2) For a resident with urinary incontinence, based on the resident's comprehensive assessment, the facility must ensure that -
     (i) A resident who enters the facility without an indwelling catheter is not catheterized unless the resident's clinical condition demonstrates that catheterization was necessary;
     (ii) A resident who enters the facility with an indwelling catheter or subsequently receives one is assessed for removal of the catheter as soon as possible unless the resident's clinical condition demonstrates that catheterization is necessary, and
     (iii) A resident who is incontinent of bladder receives appropriate treatment and services to prevent urinary tract infections and to restore continence to the extent possible.
42 CFR Part 483.25(e)(2)

The unnecessary use of a catheter and poor catheter care resulting in the development of a urinary tract infection can serve as a legitimate basis for filing a nursing home complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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