Urinary tract infections rank in top 10 for fourth year in row

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) have ranked in the top 10 presentations for the fourth year in a row, with around 65 presentations a day in hospitals across Queensland.

UTIs are common infections that affect everyone of all ages, although are more common in females. They are caused by micro-organisms, usually bacteria, that get into your urinary tract.

“UTIs can be a serious infection that can affect all parts of the urinary tract from the bladder to the kidneys and those who have had a urinary tract infection will tell you that they’re not a pleasant experience,” Logan Hospital ED registrar Dr Sajid Chowdhury said.

“Even though they’re common and very treatable, UTIs can be painful and frustrating, especially if they reoccur often.”

Symptoms of a UTI can include:

  • pain in your lower back or side
  • pain, stinging or burning when you urinate
  • feeling like you need to urinate more often than normal, but only passing a few drops
  • cloudy urine
  • urine that smells unusual, and
  • blood in your urine.

Dr Chowdhury said people could take simple steps to prevent getting a UTI.

“The best thing to do is drink plenty of water to ensure you’re flushing out your urinary system. Make sure you’re going to the toilet when you need to and not holding it in,” he said.

“It’s also good to make sure you’re going to the toilet after sex and make sure you’re wiping from front to back after the toilet to ensure no bacteria is getting into the urethra and making its way up to the bladder.”

People experiencing symptoms should visit a pharmacy for advice or see their GP for a diagnosis and treatment.

A pharmacist may recommend a special drink for people to help flush their urinary tract or suggest over-the-counter medications to help deal with pain or fever.

People seeing their GP for a more serious case will likely be prescribed antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.

People can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) if they need further advice on what to do if they think they have a UTI.

Year

Rank

Number of presentations

2018

7th

24,690

2019

8th

25,189

2020

9th

24,620

2021 (YTD)

7th (as at Sep 2021)

20,540 (as at Sep 2021)

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