Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are the most common bacterial infections in the elderly. First line antibiotic therapy includes Trimethoprim and Nitrofurantoin, both of which should be used with caution in renal impairment. The project aim was to improve antibiotic prescribing in UTIs for patients with renal impairment.


Initially an online questionnaire was sent to prescribers working in Forth Valley Hospital to ascertain their knowledge of antibiotic prescribing in renal failure. Quantitative data was obtained reviewing Trimethoprim and Nitrofurantoin prescriptions over 1 month (19/02/19-19/03/19) using HEPMA electronic prescribing system. These results were cross matched with patients renal function collected from SciStore database.


Despite 95% of medical staff having experience of prescribing in renal failure, 35% of those still did not feel confident in prescribing the correct antibiotic dosage with 90% of the opinion that prescribing guidance was necessary. Quantitative data showed that 12.9% (28/217) of patients treated with either trimethoprim or nitrofurantoin had renal impairment. Of these 79% had an Acute Kidney Injury and 71% a degree of Chronic Kidney Injury. 78% of the patients on Trimthoprim had an AKI and 38% of these developed hyperkalaemia. Those prescribed Nitrofurantoin 100% of this group had a concurrent Acute on Chronic Kidney Disease.


79% of patients prescribed Trimthoprim or Nitrofurantoin had a degree of renal impairment leading to potential undertreatment or renal damage in the patient. As a result NHS Forth Valley has now updated prescribing guidelines regarding UTI treatment in patients with renal impairment advising alternative antibiotic therapy.


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