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, and should help to minimise the emergence of antibiotic resistance in the community.

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

Three ‘Good practice points’ are highlighted. They are:

• 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 discourages major changes to the guidance, but suggests minor changes be made to suit local service delivery and sampling protocols.

At the same time NICE is consulting on a revised version of its Urinary tract infection in under 16s: diagnosis and management guideline (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-ng10038/documents/short-version-of-draft-guideline). It has updated the recommendations on the urine testing strategies for infants and children under 3 years. Stakeholders have until 9th July to comment


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