Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
There are so many variables. You do not say whether the patient is at home, in nursing facility or a hospital. You also do not say the age and general health of the patient. My mother was very frail, on dialysis and in rehab following a fractured hip. My father and I visited each day and could tell something was off. We had to tell the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) to do something - whereupon we found out it was a UTI. After a few of these UTIs, she stopped responding to medications, she went to the hospital every other week for a few months. We can always wonder if the first UTI had been caught quickly and treated "better" if things would have been different. In hindsight, her body was shutting down from the kidney failure and each medical crisis could/would contribute to her dying.

So the short answer is:

By itself, a UTI is rarely fatal (when diagnosed and treated). But you must treat it and any other conditions promptly and well so you can get it under control.

If undiagnosed and/or untreated, a UTI frequently leads to Sepsis, a blood infection. Sepsis is fatal in over 50% of cases, with increasing mortality as the patient grows older.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

@elenaseldercare - you are so right. These hurt! My biggest fear as I get older is I'll get one of these and won't be able to communicate. I've had UTI's since the birth of my first child and that was forty years ago. When I get one, I'll take anything to get rid of the pain! So, it's all well and good that antibiotics are 'bad' for certain organs of the body, but when I'm in pain, I don't care. I need to function and I need the antibiotics. And yes, I get the requisite water, cranberry (although that doesn't work for me, not even the real stuff), hygiene, etc.

When a person is in PAIN, holistic health as far as I'm concerned, go out the window.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Wishing I knew this great information three years ago when my Mom went undiagnosed with a UTI and died -- because of our simple ignorance and reluctance to probe into her personal matters. For anyone new to the UTI world, here's what I have learned in retrospect:
1. If you smell a funny smell from your loved one or detect it in their bathroom, there might be a UTI.
2. If you ask your loved one if they notice the smell and they get angry, do not back off.
3. If your loved one's personality seems to be changing rapidly, suspect something is wrong. We witnessed increased anger, paranoia, combativeness, and even hallucinations (which we unfortunately attributed to dementia).
4. If you see piles of laundry that is not done (my Mom had a laundry service), check it out. My Mom was urinating and defecating in anything she could get her hands on, and neatly piling it up to make it look like, "laundry service didn't come."
5. Intense modesty and body privacy, wearing MuMus -- try to discern if there is massive weight loss or bruises. My mother weighed 65 POUNDS when taken by ambulance. Nobody knew it. She put on such a good show of being just fine.
6. If you don't want guilt, insist they see a doctor. If they refuse, try to cajole another person to convince them. If they still resist, hmmmmm. That's what happened in our case. My dear Dad is still alive and now I at least know the aforementioned. Are there other signs laymen can look out for re suspecting a UTI? What if the loved one actually wants to die and says so?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

The eight glasses of water is an equivalency. For instance, water you include in that 64 oz (ie 8 X 8) would be found in the oatmeal you eat for breakfast, or water that is naturally found in vegetables and fruits, or perhaps sugar free jello. So, your father doesn't have to drink all that water as long as he is getting it in the foods he eats. I've discovered the flavored water additive and squirt a little in the glass, fill it with plain soda water, and she thinks that's a treat. It's got the bubbles and taste.

I realize my mom doesn't have a kidney infection and is not on anti biotics, but I have to say something about kidney function. She was in stage 4 kidney function about two years ago. When I found this out, I thought she was going to die soon. Since I've taken over her diet, I've used many recipes from a website I found, I.e., DaVita. It's been that long, but her last md appointment this past Monday showed her kidney function had improved to a stage 3. Can't figure that one out other than diet. Perhaps when everything is settled, you can help by diet, etc. depending on how bad this is.

I wish your dad the best. Give him a hug for me! And your doctor knows best (hopefully, although at times I find that not to be true!) You have to do research to find special diets, etc. You also have to remember that your dad (I didn't see the age, I may have missed it) is older now and his body is going to break down no matter what you do. It's life.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It depends on the care s/he gets.
My dad recovered from a UTI with very very high levels after about 4 days in hospital. His energy levels soared and his color came back as soon as it was cleared up. However, the infection wreaked havoc on other systems and on cognitive function as well. He had this in October and has not been the same. In fact, it was the start of a general decline in health for him. That said, my dad had other UT issues, specifically, a long neglected (his choice) enlarged prostate.
Whoever your "patient" is, I hope they are getting some good meds and that the levels return to normal soon. I know it's alarming.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

About three years ago, my wife went into kidney failure. I thought she was on her way out. Her renal function was minus 20% and the renal specialist forecast dialysis in the very near future to prevent total failure and death. She was 75, and prone to UTIs.

She had been in the hospital for three days, unable to speak, or respond to external stimuli, looking certain to hit rock bottom. On the fourth day when I went to see her she was sat yup in bed, smiling, and welcomed me with an enthusiasm that showed she had come back from the edge of the grave.

Her kidneys continued to improve until they were fully functional, her creatinine levels returned to normal, and her kidneys have functioned extremely well ever since.

It was believed that klong term IV antibiotics for as pervasive MRSA infection was the underlying cause of her kidneys failing. It is a risk attendant on long term antibiotics.

ElenasElderCare gives sound advice for future management and prevention of UTIs and concomitant renal failure. She [?] hits every marker necessary to maintain a healthy GU system.

Good luck to you and your dad. It can get better, and probably will.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

UTI is easily preventable.... Cranberry pills daily, drinking plenty, healthy diet and good hygiene would make huge difference.
It's a different story when you already have it. Yes, doctor should order resistance test to find out exact bacteria your are dealing with.
BUT, as soon as you are done with antibiotics you should get absolutely healthy life style with right diet: fermented food is a must to provide healthy guts flora to keep all bacteria under control and to bust immune system.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I would also add that I really hydrated my dad when he came home. The elderly have trouble drinking the 8 glasses of water a day and it's not appropriate for everyone (especially heart patients) but just to get them through the infection I would increase water. However, if they are low on sodium this can be tricky so ask for reports and discuss with the Dr. about sodium levels. Too much water will dilute their sodium and this can cause symptoms that mimic dementia or exacerbate their existing dementia.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with paryogi, let me add the following so you might be able to understand better. The doctor needs to have a pure urine sample drawn, then send to the lab, it will come back to doctor with a preliminary result which will tell if their is an infection, however, it will need to be left in the lab for culture, this means it will need time to grow out so they can tell exactly what the bacteria is, the lab results will show what type of antibiotic the bacteria is susceptible to, then the doctor will know exactly which med to prescribe. I have been dealing with this for years with my Mom. Since your Dad got this in the hospital I would request copy of lab results to see what type infection he got while in there. This would be very important.
I have kept up with Mom's reports, there are super bugs out there now that no antibiotic can address, so I would say to you, stay on top of this. My Mom now has a super bug and only has one more med(if it will work) that we can use on her and they are giving to her directly into the blood stream. She has Escherichia coli (ESBL). This is a MDRO(multi-drug resistant organism).
I truly am not wanting to scare you, but please be informed and stay on top of this for your loved one. Hope this has been of some help to you, God Bless you for you love and care! Take care of yourself as well.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It depends on their other underlying conditions. My dad, who obtained a severe UTI in the hospital, survived after another hospital stay, IV antibiotics and rest and hydration. They need antibiotics that are specific to their TYPE of infection. Generalized antibiotics most often do not do the trick, however they might put them on a general one until test results come back. Best of luck to you and your loved one.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.