Registered Nurse (RN)
Fundamentals of Nursing
Urinary Elimination
Pyelonephritis Interventions

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Pyelonephritis Interventions

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Pyelonephritis Interventions

Pillar with Kidney-on-fire
Pyelonephritis is inflammation in an area of the kidney called the renal parenchyma. This condition is caused by a bacterial infection that begins in the lower urinary tract and travels upward and into the kidney(s). Treatment of this condition involves antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain, and increased fluid intake. In some cases, a short stay in the hospital may be necessary for intravenous antibiotic administration.
Urinal with Urinalysis-cup

A clean catch specimen of urine must be obtained for analysis and culture prior to the first dose of antibiotics. Determining the causative bacterial agent is important, as it can affect the type of antibiotic needed to treat the infection.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be given for pain management, unless contraindicated.


Oral antibiotics may be prescribed for patients presenting with mild symptoms. Patients with a severe infection may require brief hospitalization for intravenous antibiotic administration. Broad spectrum antibiotics should be used until the results of the urine culture are available.

Increase Fluid Intake
Up-arrow Fluid Intake

Patients should be encouraged to increase daily fluid intake. Fluid promotion will increase urine output, helping to flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract.

Avoid Catheterization
Avoid-sign Catheter-cat

Urine specimens should be collected using the clean catch method, and catheterizations should be avoided if possible. Catheterization can lead to introduction of bacteria into the urinary tract, potentially worsening the infection.


In severe cases of pyelonephritis, urosepsis, or bacteremia can develop. If bacteria is detected in the blood, rapid treatment of septic shock is necessary to prevent organ damage and death.


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