Hi, welcome to our video series on interpreting lab values. In this portion of the video series,
we're going to look at urine culture and sensitivity test. So, why is a urine culture and
sensitivity test ordered? Well, I wanted to remind you that sometimes it's written urine C&S.
It just stands for culture and sensitivity. So the 2 main reasons one of these tests is ordered
is first of all your patient is telling you they have some unusual symptoms, things that lead us
to think about a UTI. They may complain about a burning sensation when they pee. They might
need to pee more often, and it looks different. Usually it's darker or cloudy. Now, the 2nd
reason is we did a urinalysis and we got some abnormal results that need to be followed up.
We see nitrites or extra white blood cells. These would indicate that the patient has a UTI.
So, a urine culture and sensitivity test will help us further diagnose what's causing that UTI.
Let's look at how a UTI develops. Yeah, this one isn't very fun but it happens. A urinary tract
infection typically occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Now, it usually happens right
at the end, through the urethra, and it begins to multiply in the bladder. So take a look at our
picture. You've got the urethra there. Now, just for fun, do you think this is a male or a
female? Well, follow the urethra right up and see that little round shape organ on either side
of the urethra. Yup, that's the prostate. So, this is clearly a male client. Follow the urethra up
into the bladder. That is the path of how most typically UTIs occur. The bacteria will travel up
through the urethra into the bladder. Now as this progresses, we'll call that cystitis because
the bladder is a cyst, it's an open organ, right, it just collects urine, but as the UTI develops,
it can spread from the bladder, head up those ureters, and even end up in a kidney infection.
So a UTI stands for urinary tract infection. That urinary tract is from the exit all the way up
to the kidneys. And now you can see why people with a UTI if it's left untreated it can easily
become a kidney infection. We know that women tend to have UTIs much more frequently
than men, but why are females more likely to develop a UTI than males. Well, it's all about
location, location, location. Take a look at the graphics I have for you there on the screen.
Look at the female in comparison to the male. The female's urethra is much shorter and much
closer to the anus. That makes it much easier for bacteria from the intestines or your gut to
travel up into the urinary tract and cause an infection.