Mean LOS: 5.9 Description: MEI
MEDICAL: Kidney and Urinary Tract Infections, Age > 17 with CC
U rinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and usually occur because of the entry of bacteria into the urinary tract at the urethra. Approximately 20% to 25% of women have a UTI sometime during their lifetime, and acute UTIs account for approximately 7 million healthcare visits per year for young women. About 20% of women who develop a UTI experience recurrences. Women are more prone to UTIs than men because of natural anatomic variations. The female urethra is only about 1 to 2 inches in length, whereas the male urethra is 7 to 8 inches long. The female urethra is also closer to the anus than is the male urethra, increasing women's risk for fecal contamination. The motion during sexual intercourse also increases the female's risk for infection.
Urinary reflux is one reason that bacteria spread in the urinary tract. Vesicourethral reflux occurs when pressure increases in the bladder from coughing or sneezing and pushes urine into the urethra. When pressure returns to normal, the urine moves back into the bladder, taking with it bacteria from the urethra. In vesicoureteral reflux, urine flows backward from the bladder into one or both of the ureters, carrying bacteria from the bladder to the ureters and widening the infection. If they are left untreated, UTIs can lead to chronic infections, pyelonephritis, and even systemic sepsis and septic shock. If infection reaches the kidneys, permanent renal damage can occur, which leads to acute and chronic renal failure.
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