Urinary tract infection

Experience has taught them, as mine has me, that one must listen to reason and agree with Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna and many others, ancient and modern, that there is no surer way to determine the temperaments and constitutions of people of either sex than to look at the urine.

Davach de La Riviere, 18th century The Mirror of Urines

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common problem affecting all ages and accounts for approximately 1% of all attendances in general practice. It is very common in sexually active women but uncommon in men and children.

Organisms causing UTI in the community are usually sensitive to most of the commonly used antibiotics. The important decision to make is whether to proceed with further investigation of the urinary tract. The morbidity of urinary infections in both children and adults is well known but it is vital to recognise the potential for progressive renal damage, ending in chronic renal failure. The main task in the prevention of chronic pyelonephritis is the early identification of patients with additional factors, such as reflux or obstruction, which could lead to progressive renal damage.

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