Health: Asymptomatic Bacteriuria Diagnosis In Older Patients Should Not Require Antibiotics

From a New York Times online article:

Asymtomatic Bacteriuria DefinitionAt Dr. Soong’s hospital, withholding the results of urine cultures, unless doctors actually called the microbiology lab to request them, reduced prescriptions for asymptomatic bacteriuria to 12 percent from 48 percent of non-catheterized patients, with no loss of safety.

“The extra step of having the clinician call eliminated a lot of frivolous testing,” Dr. Soong said.

In patients who have none of the typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection — no painful or frequent urination, no blood in the urine, no fever or lower abdominal tenderness — lab results detecting bacteria in the urine don’t indicate infection and thus shouldn’t trigger treatment.

Older people, and nursing home residents in particular, often have urinary systems colonized by bacteria; they will have a positive urine test almost every time, but they’re not sick.

To read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/14/health/urine-tests-elderly.html

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