People all over the world meet several challenges related to various infections. For instance, many diseases and infections have been discovered that give people sleepless nights. Nations all over the world try to ensure that they are in a position to deal with the diseases effectively and to prevent the spread of infections. As a result, most countries offer extensive training to enhance competence and effectiveness amongst the medics. The efforts are seen to bear fruits since most of the deadly diseases can be managed. In addition, most countries have adopted the use of modern technology in medicine enhancing doctors’ capability and ability to deal with deadly cases. Apart from the respiratory infections that top the lists of the most challenging diseases, the non-discriminatory urinary tract infections have increased and are posing problems for people. Wards in most health institutions are full of people, both the young and the old, who are suffering from urinary tract infections. This paper focuses on urinary tract infection. To start with, the paper defines urinary tract infection and outlines its causes. Secondly, the paper analyses the signs and symptoms of the disease. Thirdly, the paper describes possible treatment options and discusses the nursing care plan for patients with urinary tract infection.
Definition and Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infection is a disease that affects the urinary system. The infection can attack the kidney, the ureters, the bladder, or the urethra. The upper urinary tract infection involves infections of the kidney and ureters while the lower urinary tract disease covers the bladder and the urethra. For the past couple of years, the disease has become common since more than seven million people are reported to have been treated from the infection every year. Moreover, the disease is more common for ladies than for men due to their anatomic structure. Uniquely, the adults are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections than children but when the disease occurs in children, it is often more serious.
The disease develops from the bacteria known as Escherichia coli that are mostly found in the rectum. The location of the bacteria in the anus makes it easy to be transferred to the urethra, where it develops. Likewise, sanitation must be factored in while examining the causes of urinary tract infections. It should be noted that the transfer of the bacteria from the anus to the urethra depends on the activities that a person is involved in and most importantly, the cleanliness of the body. Additionally, some risky factors cause the infection to develop among individuals. Firstly, catheterization of the urinary tract plays a role in the development of the urinary tract infection. When a catheter is used to empty the bladder, it facilitates the transfer of germs and bacteria into the urinary tract causing the infection. On the same note, blockage of the urinary tract also causes infection of the urinary tract. People with kidney disorders occasionally experience blockage of the urinary tract, the condition favors the growth and development of the bacteria resulting in urinary tract infection.
Secondly, difficulty in emptying the bladder is another probable cause of urinary tract infection. Some individuals have bladder disorders, and they cannot release all the urine during urination completely. In this case, the urine that remains in the bladder provides the breeding ground for the bacteria. In its turn, the bacteria multiply and cause the bladder infection resulting in urinary tract infection. Thirdly, the disease is caused by sexual intercourse. For instance, sexually active women are at risk of getting the urinary tract infection because, during sexual intercourse, a lot of bacteria enter the bladder leading to a bladder infection. In the same way, the bacteria are easily transferred from the anus to the urethra during intercourse.
Lastly, the infection can be caused by the enlargement of the prostate that appears in elderly men. The swelling allows the bacteria to occupy the area and thus, they are not passed out during urination. The presence of the bacteria develops an infection around the area leading to urinary tract infection. In infants and children, the disease is caused by the uncontrolled bowel movement. In most cases, children have light stools that can easily follow into the urethra transferring the bacteria. In addition, children cannot wipe themselves properly enhancing bacterial movement. It is important to note that pregnant women and birth control measures increase the chances of infection among women.
Signs and Symptoms
Just like other diseases and infections, the urinary tract infection also has its signs and symptoms. First and foremost, the victims of urinary tract infections experience pain while emptying the bladder. When a person is well, urinating is supposed to be a minute issue, simple and comfortable. For a person with a urinary tract infection, urinating is not easy as such, the process is painful and a small amount of urine is produced. In addition, the urine may have a bad smell and be bloody or cloudy. It is also evident that people with the disease experience frequent urination but can only produce a few drops of urine after a prolonged urge to urinate. At most times, the person wakes up at night due to the increased urge to empty the bladder.
The infection also causes inflammation of the bladder as well as irritation of the urethra. This symptom is common for both the upper and lower urinary tract infections. In such circumstances, the victim feels an itching sensation in the urethra coupled with mild pains in the bladder. The pain increases when the bladder becomes full and leads to frequent urination to avoid the pain. Similarly, the urinary tract infection causes pain around the lower abdomen. The pain ranges from mild to severe depending on the stage of the urinary tract infection.
Another sign of the infection is nausea. As a result, an individual feels uncomfortable, tired and bored. In some cases, the infection causes fever and vomiting. These conditions are severe in the elderly since they make the victim lose appetite and frequently, result in dehydration. As for children, the infection reveals itself through frequent fever that attacks the child. The child occasionally catches a fever that lowers the body temperature and does not respond to drugs. Additionally, the disease causes irritation and lose of bounds. It is observed that the urinating pattern changes and the child cries whenever urine passes out.
Treatment Process of Urinary Tract Infections
The urinary tract infection is treatable since most people who contracted the disease have been treated and felt well. Normally, the infection is treated by the administration of antibiotics. However, antibiotics can only be recommended for those patients whose condition is stable. Nevertheless, the patient is put on routine check-ups even after having used the antibiotics until it is established that the infection has healed completely. In cases where the patient is in a critical condition, vomiting and dehydrated, it is required that he or she is admitted. An IV has to be inserted in the arm to facilitate the administration of drugs and fluids to the patient.
In circumstances where the disease has reached more advanced stages and damaged some organs in the urinary tract, it is advised that an operation be performed on the patient to control the disease. For instance, if the infection has caused damages to the kidneys and they might fail, a kidney transplant is performed. In this case, the affected organs are removed from the victim’s body and replaced with functional organs to sustain the life of the patient. Kidney transplant is the operation of last resort and it is also very expensive. In a similar manner, when the infection is caused in the enlarged prostate and in return the prostate is eaten up, surgery has to be carried out. As a result, the patient is catheterized to enable the passage of urine from the bladder. Although the catheter is used during the operation, it also increases the chances of spreading the bacteria that cause the urinary tract infection.
Nursing Care Plan for Persons with the Urinary Tract Infection
The nursing care needed for victims of the urinary tract infection must be geared towards alleviating the pain as well as fostering recovery from the disease. In this case, the nurse aides must ensure that the patients observe the treatment plan stipulated by the doctor. It is the duty of the nurse to serve the patients with drugs at the right time and perform routine checks and examinations of the victims. In case the patient does not respond well, they inform the doctors so that necessary steps are taken to cure the infection. Additionally, nurse aides are charged with the mandate to ensure that people are in clean environments and maintain the required standards of sanitation to minimize the contraction of the disease.
During the administration of the treatment, nurses educate the patients on how to prevent future infection. People recovering from the disease are encouraged to take analgesics to reduce pain and fasten their recovery process. The nurses also administer warm compresses to the patients experiencing perianal discomfort as well as offer dietary advice to the patients recovering from the infection. For instance, coffee consumption and smoking are discouraged since it increases the irritation of the bladder. Hence, a person cannot recover immediately. Carbonated beverages and foods containing baking powder are also not to be taken by the patients since they poison the drugs used to cure the infection. Alternatively, an acid-ash diet is encouraged because an acid-based diet increases the acidity of the urine killing the bacteria responsible for the infection. The victims are advised to take a lot of water and fluids in order to increase the rate at which an individual urinates. As a result, frequent urination reduces stasis and flushes bacteria out of the body. Good care and sanitation should be practiced by the patients recovering from the infection to prevent the recurrence of the disease. It is evident that nurse aides are crucial in the management of the infection since they help the people to learn how to prevent themselves from contracting the infection.
The combined effort is needed to prevent the contraction of urinary tract infection. People have to maintain and practice the required standards of sanitation to curb the bacteria from spreading. Additionally, individuals have to check their diet and seek frequent medical check-up so that the diseases can be detected and controlled immediately. Regular visits and screening help to prevent the damage of body organs that results in serious and life-threatening conditions. In such cases, the treatment is expensive and takes a lot of time. Medical practitioners need to carry out awareness programs to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of diseases to enable people to seek medical attention immediately should any of the signs appear. The government should also invest in healthcare by providing the health sector with the required facilities to enhance service delivery and capability to manage and control diseases.