Quick guide for UTI

Public Health England (PHE) has updated its quick reference guide on the diagnosis and understanding of culture results for urinary tract infection (UTI).

According to PHE the guidance provides a simple, effective, economical and empirical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections. It should help to minimise the emergence of antibiotic resistance in the community, it says.

The guidance covers identifying symptoms, use of urine dipstick tests and sending samples for culture.

Three ‘good practice points’ are highlighted:

• Do not send urine for culture in asymptomatic elderly with positive dipsticks

• Do not treat asymptomatic bacteriuria in those with indwelling catheters, as bacteriuria is very common, and antibiotics increase side-effects and antibiotic resistance

• Refrigerate specimens to prevent bacterial overgrowth, or use specimen pots with boric acid (fill to the line).

The PHE encourages minor changes are made to suit local service delivery and sampling protocols, but discourages major changes.

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