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Thread: Colonized UTI or real UTI?

  1. #1

    Colonized UTI or real UTI?

    Went to the Ed last night with chills and a low-grade fever. They came back and told me I have a UTI but I explained to them that my catheter (sp) is always colonized and they said it's normal to have a high white cell count (something like that) in the bladder but I have bacteria in my bladder and they want me on antibiotics

    How do I tell the difference between colonized and a real UTI?
    Male - 21 y/o - c5 ASIA B since summer 2013

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by LazyLegs View Post
    Went to the Ed last night with chills and a low-grade fever. They came back and told me I have a UTI but I explained to them that my catheter (sp) is always colonized and they said it's normal to have a high white cell count (something like that) in the bladder but I have bacteria in my bladder and they want me on antibiotics

    How do I tell the difference between colonized and a real UTI?
    Typically my urologist will treat for a urinary tract infection when the urine tests show 100,000 CFU (colony forming units) of bacteria. That said, occasionally the urologist has treated an infection with antibiotics when the tests show 50,000 CFU (probably based on the type of bacteria and/or if I've recently been treated for an infection, but the selected antibiotic didn't completely clear up the infection). Thankfully haven't had any recent experiences with urinary tracts infections.

  3. #3
    Because I'm colonized and always have high counts, my urologist treats only when I get fully symptomatic, which for me means fever, dramatically increased spasticity, increase in nerve pain and bladder spasms.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by annev308 View Post
    Because I'm colonized and always have high counts, my urologist treats only when I get fully symptomatic, which for me means fever, dramatically increased spasticity, increase in nerve pain and bladder spasms.
    Yeah but how do they know the fever and all that is from a uti and not something else?
    Male - 21 y/o - c5 ASIA B since summer 2013

  5. #5
    If you have an indwelling catheter, you are colonized with bacteria. UTIs should be treated if you have symptoms e.g. blood in urine, fever, increased spasticity, body aches, odorous urine. AND as gjnl mentioned about a >100,000 bacterial load count is the other reason to treat.

    The goal is to keep your colonized bacterial count <100,000 or better < 50,000.

    pbr

  6. #6
    my urologist will only treat if symptomatic i.e. fever chills and such. it sounds to me like you are symptomatic therefore it is not a colonized UTI and is a true UTI.
    T6 incomplete from MS and an aortic aneurysm surgery that went bad.

  7. #7
    They determine the symptoms are from the UTI because: 1. There is nothing else wrong (wound/flu/ingrown toenail/whatever) and 2. I only have bladder spasms when I have proper UTI and 3. I have a neuropathic pain pattern that is specific to upper UTI.

    Before I had SCI knowledgeable urologists and had some understanding of colonization myself I was very aggressively over treated for every tiny remotely symptomatic UTI. Net result is that most of what I'm colonized with is vulnerable only to gentamicin, tobramycin and penicillin to which I am sensitive. Have better judgement than I did and don't let it happen to you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cowboys_Place's Avatar
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    LazyLegs,

    You take anything to try and prevent having uti's? There's so many threads on this web site to help prevent uti's it's almost mind-boggling! I've tried more than a few of them without much success so I basically take a cranberry pill twice a day and drink enough water to drown a fish. Still I have constant sediment which coats my hose and the smell is unpleasant to say the least but thankfully that's the only symptoms I have I hope you get yours under control.
    Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway. .(John Wayne)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    If you have an indwelling catheter, you are colonized with bacteria. UTIs should be treated if you have symptoms e.g. blood in urine, fever, increased spasticity, body aches, odorous urine. AND as gjnl mentioned about a >100,000 bacterial load count is the other reason to treat.

    The goal is to keep your colonized bacterial count <100,000 or better < 50,000.

    pbr
    Is there anything I can do to keep my bacterial load count down?

    My buddy just got several real bad AD episodes from a bad UTI, so it's come to my attention more. Thankfully I don't usually get UTIs and I want to keep it that way
    Male - 21 y/o - c5 ASIA B since summer 2013

  10. #10
    A few things that can help reduce your risks:
    • Maintain a closed system for your catheter. This means avoid anything that involves disconnecting the catheter from the drainage system, such as switching to leg bags or opening the connection to do irrigations.
    • Be sure that you don't have "dependent loops" in the drainage tubing, esp. when using a bedside drainage bag.
    • Secure the catheter to avoid "pistoning" of the catheter in/out of the urethra or SP stoma.
    • Clean the catheter (outside the body) and the skin around it (genitals or abdominal skin for a SP catheter) daily with a disinfectant like CHG. Sage makes a kit for doing this cleaning.
    • Drink plenty of fluids...at least 3 liters daily.


    (KLD)

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