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CAUTI Information for the Public

What is CAUTI?

CAUTI is an infection of the urinary tract caused by a tube (urinary catheter) that has been placed to drain urine from the bladder. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters (tubes joining the kidneys to the bladder), bladder, and urethra (tube leading from the bladder to the outside of the body).

If you have a urinary catheter, inserted in to your bladder, germs can travel along the urinary catheter and cause an infection in your bladder or your kidney; this type of infection is called a catheter-associated urinary tract infection (or "CAUTI").

CAUTI is the most common type of HAI and causes 1of 3 HAIs in patients in hospitals.

CAUTI may cause illness, death, increased hospital cost, and more days in the hospital.

CAUTI can be prevented by things such as hand washing, not using urine drain tubes and if they must be used, inserting them properly and keeping them clean.

The Iowa Department of Public Health staff together with the HAI Prevention Steering Committee has created and maintains this website to inform Iowans of the ways the HAIs are prevented. Our goal is to reach out to healthcare provider and the public with accurate and current information in order to increase public confidence and lower CAUTI infection rates.

CAUTI Fact Sheets

For more information on HAI's:

  • Call (515) 242-5935, or
  • 1 (800) 362-2736, or
  • Use the "Contact Us" page to submit questions online.