Intended for healthcare professionals

Re: Antibiotic prescribing in primary care

The danger here is that antibiotics will be over prescribed. I have found in practice ABXs are prescribed routinely in the age group over 65 presenting with confusion and a positive urine dip. A urine dip is not recommended in this age group as they are more unreliable in the over 65s. Up to half of older adults, and most with a urinary catheter, have asymptomatic bacteria present in the bladder/urine without an infection. The symptoms are important and two or more symptoms should be present before a UTI is diagnosed. There are many more reasons for confusion in this age group and should be investigated (PHE, 2018).

Diagnosis of urinary tract infections: quick reference tool for primary care. 2018. Flowchart for men and women over 65 years with suspected UTI. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 3 March 2019].

Competing interests: No competing interests

03 March 2019
Anne Griffiths
Community Staff nurse