Urology Study Shows Few Infants Tested for UTIPosted by in Urology
A urology study published in November 2011 in the journal, Pediatrics, shows that few emergency department physicians order tests for urinary tract infections in infants and toddlers to determine the cause of fevers. The researchers noted that it has long been recognized that a UTI is frequently the culprit when a fever in a baby or young child is unexplained.
The study was conducted by the Infant, Child, and Women’s Health Statistics Branch of the Office of Analysis and Epidemiology at the National Center for Health Statistics. This organization is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention located in Hyattsville, Maryland.
The urology study found that only about 18 percent of infants and toddlers with unexplained fevers were given urine tests. Blood tests were ordered in more than 20 percent of visits, however, even though blood tests are usually less conclusive in these cases than urinalysis.
Details of the Study
Data from 1,600 visits to emergency departments from 2006-2008 were analyzed. The children ranged in age from three months to three years. The data was compiled from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey which is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.
For the study, the researchers included only those children with unexplained fevers, which made up 21.6 percent of the cases in the survey. This percentage equals about 1.7 million visits to emergency departments in the U.S. each year.
Girls are more prone to urinary tract infections than boys, and as a result, their urine was tested more frequently. In fact, girls were tested 25.5 percent of the time, while boys were tested just 10.4 percent of the time. ED doctors also took a blood count for girls more often. The CDC recommends that all girls with unexplained fevers be given urinalysis, while blood counts are usually not necessary.
What is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enters any part of the urinary system. This includes the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. Most infections occur in the bladder and urethra, however, which is the lower part of the urinary tract.
Anatomical differences account for why girls and women are more susceptible to these infections than boys and men. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat UTIs, but in severe cases, the infection can spread to the blood and become serious.
Specialists in urology in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and other parts of the country can diagnose and treat UTIs and other problems of the urinary tract.
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