Effect of silver-coated urinary catheters: Efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and antimicrobial resistance

Mark E. Rupp, Theresa Fitzgerald, Nedra Marion, Virginia Helget, Susan Puumala, James R. Anderson, Paul D. Fey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Scopus citations


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common nosocomial infection experienced by patients in United States hospitals and are responsible for significant morbidity and excess hospital costs. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a silver alloy, hydrogel-coated, urinary catheter in the prevention of catheter-associated UTI, to assess the cost effectiveness of the coated catheter, and to test for the emergence of silver-resistance in urinary microbial isolates. A 2-year prospective surveillance study in 10 patient care units was conducted to determine the rate of catheter-associated UTI. Historic control data was utilized to assess the effect of the coated catheter. A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a range of cost estimates. Silver susceptibility was determined for microbes responsible for catheter-associated UTI. Data were analyzed using a Poisson regression model. The rate of catheter-associated UTI fell from 6.13/1000 catheter-days during the period 1999-2000 to 2.62/1000 catheter-days during 2001-2002 (P =. 002). Calculated cost savings varied widely. Modest savings were achieved at the realistic lower cost estimates. No silver-resistant microbes were recovered in the susceptibility tests. The introduction of a silver alloy, hydrogel-coated urinary catheter was associated with a significant decline in nosocomial UTI and cost savings over the range of cost estimates. Silver-resistant urinary pathogens were not recovered from patients experiencing catheter-associated UTI during the study period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-450
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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