Toolkit for Reducing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Hospital Units: Implementation Guide

Appendix E. Poster on Urinary Catheter Risks and Indications

This poster educates and motivates staff regarding the risks, indications, and nonindications for use of indwelling urinary catheters.


Urinary Catheters Increase...

  • Length of Stay
  • Likelihood of Infection
  • Cost
  • Patient Discomfort
  • Antibiotic Use

..and patients with urinary catheters tend to stay in bed, increasing risk of skin breakdown, deep-vein thrombosis, weakness and delirium.

Urinary Catheters Are Indicated for...

  • Acute urinary retention or obstruction
  • Perioperative use in selected surgeries
  • Assistance of healing of severe perineal and sacral wounds in incontinent patients
  • Hospice, comfort care, or palliative care
  • Required strict immobilization for trauma or surgery
  • Accurate measurement of urinary output in critically ill patients (intensive care)

Catheters Are NOT Indicated for...

  • Routine urine output monitoring outside the ICU
  • Incontinence
  • Prolonged postoperative use
  • Morbid obesity
  • Immobility
  • Confusion or dementia
  • Patient request


Page last reviewed October 2015
Page originally created October 2015
Internet Citation: Appendix E. Poster on Urinary Catheter Risks and Indications . Content last reviewed October 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.