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August 6, 2018

Emergency Room:  Go for Urinary Tract Infections

Emergency Room:  Go for Urinary Tract Infections

As the name suggests, urinary tract infections (UTI) are infections that affect the urinary tract system. They can end up affecting the bladder, urethra and the kidneys. They can be very painful and disturbing in life.

As recommended by FrontLine ER, it is imperative to understand the causes, symptoms, and preventive measures of the UTIs and know when to head to the ER for the urinary tract infections.

Fast Facts about UTI

UTIs, which are very common in America, is often confused with sexually transmitted infections which have almost the similar symptoms. Compared to sexually transmitted infections (STI), UTIs are not as severe and will more often than not go away on their own. 

Both men and women are susceptible, but women are more vulnerable to urinary tract infection due to anatomical reasons. The female urethra is much smaller than in males, thus allowing bacteria to enter the bladder faster.  In addition, the female urethra is closer to the vagina and anus, where microbes typically exist.

In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a list of antibiotic-resistant priority pathogens.  At the top of their list was Enterobacteriaceae including the E. coli, which causes 80% of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) cases.

How the Infection Occurs

Normally, microorganisms enter the urinary tract through the urethra and are immediately flushed out through urination before they settle and induce symptoms.

However, in some cases, bacteria, virus or fungi overcome the natural body defence and causes infection. The bacteria ‘travel’ upwards through the ureters and infect the kidneys, causing a condition known as Pyelonephritis or complicated urinary tract infection.

Urosepsis is the worst complication of UTIs. It is a condition in which an overwhelming inflammatory response to infection causes the cardiovascular system to collapse and multiple organs to fail. Urosepsis is fatal, and it is common amongst elderly patients who often cannot report their symptoms and then end up becoming unexpectedly ill.

Even though the urinary tract has several mechanisms for preventing infections, UTIs may still occur because some bacteria have a substantial capacity for adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and multiply thus causing infections.

When to Go To the Emergency Room for Urinary Tract Infections

UTI don’t always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:

  • Intense and persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning feeling  while  urinating
  • Frequent urination  in small amounts
  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Pungent-smelling urine
  • Pain around the area of the pubic bone, especially in the centre of the pelvis

UTIs can be relatively harmless; however, they can affect the urinary tract system and possibly lead to kidney failure.

How Do Emergency Rooms Treat UTIs?

FrontLine ER prescribes antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin, Macrobid, and Trimethoprim that can treat both the simple and complicated urinary tract infections.  The healing period will be determined by how severe the disease is.

When the infection is treated promptly and correctly, they rarely lead to complications. But left untreated, UTI can have serious consequences.

Risk Factors

  • Sexually active women tend to have more UTIs than those who aren’t. Having a new sexual partner increase your risk of infection.
  • Hormonal changes that arise from switching your birth control methods can lead to instability of the healthy bacteria in your vagina, increasing your chances for a UTI. Using spermicides or diaphragms for contraception can also make you more prone to infection.
  • Kidney Stones can block your urinary tract and hold urine in, thereby kidney giving bacteria time to grow and can lead to an infection.
  • People with uncontrolled diabetes, are unable to empty the bladder as well as it should. This leads to a breeding ground for bacteria due to the high level of sugar in the urine.
  • People that use a tube (catheter) to urinate have an increased risk of UTIs. These include those who are hospitalised, paralysed or have neurological problems that make it difficult to control their ability to urinate.

Prevention

Taking the following steps in advance can go a long way in minimising the risk of infections;

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water
  • Empty your bladder soon after intercourse
  • Change your birth control method
  • Change pads or tampons frequently during monthly periods
  • Minimize or avoid entirely the use of intravaginal products (feminine washes)  that alters the vaginal flora

It’s likely you trust your primary care physician or OB/GYN to help in determining the best course of treatment when sicknesses arise.  If you happen to develop symptoms of UTI   at a time when your physician’s office is closed, it can be very stressful.

Do not worry; FrontLine ER is open 24/7 to help you get the right treatment soonest before the pain escalates. Getting answers and relief from our emergency physicians is easy. Our qualified doctors at can provide you with the proper care at the right time to help you get back on your feet.

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Emergency Room