Urinary tract infections (UTIs) continue to pose problems for women from puberty through postmenopausal years, and the possibility of infection increasingly rises with age. The female population over age 65 is expected to double in the coming years, and it is anticipated that the incidence of UTI will also increase.

In the October 2008 issue of Urologic Nursing, David D. Rahn presents an overview of current management techniques for common and more complicated UTIs. Most UTIs are considered uncomplicated, he says, however infections become more complex when they occur in men, patients with diabetes, pregnant women, or patients with recurring infections or hospital-acquired infections.

Rahn notes "any condition that results in inefficient bladder emptying and stagnant urine in the bladder increases the likelihood of infection." Other risk factors include decreased bladder function, cardiovascular accidents, fecal incontinence and sexual intercourse. Common complaints are painful urination, frequent and urgent urination and mild incontinence; as the infection progresses, patients report fever, chills, nausea and pain.

Ultimately, says Rahn, antibiotics are required to treat a UTI, and he notes some commonly prescribed medications have an effect on normal vaginal bacteria, sometimes causing yeast infections. Twenty-two percent of women have recurrent infections (three or more in one year) and these patients often require more rigorous antibiotic treatment. In addition, notes Rahn, these patients may adopt such preventive measures as taking medication or using alternative birth control to reduce occurrence. (Urinary Tract Infections: Contemporary Management; David D. Rahn, MD, FACOG; Urologic Nursing; October 2008; suna)

About SUNA

The Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates is a national, non-profit professional membership association with over 3,000 members and annual revenues of $1.5 million. SUNA derives its income from membership dues (only $60), conference registration fees, exhibits, advertising, grants, and the sale of educational products. SUNA publishes a professional, peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal (Urologic Nursing Journal) and a bi-monthly newsletter (Uro-Gram). SUNA establishes the scope and standards of urologic nursing practice and the scope and standards of advanced urologic nursing practice. SUNA provides scholarships, grants and awards to deserving nurses and other health care professionals. SUNA supports and promotes the certification of urologic nurses and associates by providing educational preparation for the examinations offered which lead to certification in three areas. SUNA provides a variety of opportunities for participation including local chapters, task forces and Special Interest Groups (SIGS) in five major subspecialty areas.

Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates

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