• gynaecological cancer;
  • oncology;
  • urinary tract infections;
  • case review;
  • surgery;
  • complications

CROSBY-NWAOBI R. & FAITHFULL S. (2011) European Journal of Cancer Care20, 825–831

High risk of urinary tract infections in post-operative gynaecology patients: a retrospective case analysis

This study was undertaken to determine the incidence and risk factors related to the occurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs), post surgery, in women being treated for a gynaecological cancer. A retrospective case analysis of 215 women was conducted using data collected via case review with domains covering known risk factors for the occurrence of urinary infections. Bacteriuria was defined as greater than 105 colony-forming units per millilitre. A total of 30.7% of women had a UTI post-operatively. Among these, 75.7% infections were Escherichia coli. Having a catheter in situ for ≤3 days was found to be slightly significant in the formation of a UTI post-operatively (U= 3878, P < 0.05). Having a catheter in situ for ≥7 days was found to be highly significant (χ2(1) = 6.602, P < 0.01), with an odds ratio of 2.44. A positive correlation was found between the duration of the catheter in situ and type of UTI (τ= .251, P < 0.01). Although urinary catheterisation is known to be related to hospital-acquired infection, a shorter duration of catheterisation may reduce the risk of possible infection post surgery. Oncology teams need to be more aware of this risk, identify women more likely to be catheterised for longer and use preventative strategies for managing infection, such as silver nitrite-lined catheters.