URINARY TRACT INFECTION
PATHOPHYSIOLOGY: A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.
CAUSES: Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract. The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:
* A strong, persistent urge to urinate
* A burning sensation when urinating
* Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
* Urine that appears cloudy
* Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
* Strong-smelling urine
* Pelvic pain, in women
* Rectal pain, in men
UTIs may be overlooked or mistaken for other conditions in older adults.
COMPLICATIONS: When treated promptly and properly, lower urinary tract infections rarely lead to complications. But left untreated, a urinary tract infection can have serious consequences.
Complications of UTIs may include:
* Recurrent infections, especially in women who experience three or more UTIs
* Permanent kidney damage from an acute or chronic kidney infection (pyelonephritis) due to an untreated UTI, especially in young children
* Increased risk of women delivering low birth weight or premature infants