Urinary Tract Infection Investigation and Treatment in Older Adults Presenting to the Emergency Department with Confusion: a Health Record Review of Local Practice Patterns

Authors

  • Rhiannan A. M. Pinnell University of Ottawa
  • Tim Ramsay Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • Han Wang University of Ottawa
  • Pil Joo Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; University of Ottawa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.24.518

Keywords:

Urinary tract infection, Asymptomatic bacteriuria, confusion

Abstract

Background 

The rate of urinary tract infection (UTI) investigation and treatment in confused older emergency department (ED) patients has not been described in the literature. We aim to describe the pattern of practice in an academic tertiary care ED for this common presentation. 

Methods 

A health record review was conducted on 499 adults aged ≥65 presenting to academic EDs with confusion. Exclusion criteria: Glasgow Coma Scale < 13, current treatment for UTI, indwelling catheters, nephrostomy tubes, transfer from another hospital. Outcomes were the prevalence of UTI investigation, diagnosis and antibiotic treatment. 

Results 

64.9% received urine tests, 11.4% were diagnosed with UTI, and 35.2% were prescribed antibiotics. In the subgroup with no urinary symptoms, fever, or other obvious indication for antibiotics, these numbers were 58.2%, 7.6%, and 18.1%, respectively. Patients who had urine tests or received antibiotics were older than those who did not (p values < .01). Patients receiving antibiotics had higher admission rates and 30-day and six-month mortality (OR of 2.9 [2.0–4.3], 4.0 [1.6–11], and 2.8 [1.4–5.8], respectively). 

Conclusion 

Older patients presenting to ED with confusion were frequently investigated and treated for UTI, even in the absence of urinary symptoms. Antibiotic treatment was associated with higher hospitalization and mortality. 

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Published

2021-12-01

How to Cite

1.
Pinnell R, Ramsay T, Wang H, Joo P. Urinary Tract Infection Investigation and Treatment in Older Adults Presenting to the Emergency Department with Confusion: a Health Record Review of Local Practice Patterns. Can Geriatr J [Internet]. 2021 Dec. 1 [cited 2022 Jan. 26];24(4):341-50. Available from: https://cgjonline.ca/index.php/cgj/article/view/518

Issue

Section

Original Research