Can Pixie Pads stop UTIs in Senior Citizens?

Can Pixie Pads stop UTIs in Senior Citizens?


As the risk of getting Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) increase with age, a new program is using pixie pads to help elderly people detect when an infection may be around the corner.

The pixie program gives seniors a pad to wear that is equipped with a code. The patient wears the pad for three hours at a time. Staff will then collect a urine sample from the pad, scan it with a smartphone, and bacteria can be detected.

“The colors you see on the back of the pad, they are invisible,” said an administer of the program, Fanus Tesfagabir to CBS4 Indy. “When they are soaked with fluid they will show all the colors, which the system will interpret.”

The American Senior Communities Brownsburg Meadows is one of the communities that are taking part in the pixie program. They check their residents enrolled in the trial at least two times a week and are able to tell with the colors of the pad if the patient may be coming down with a UTI. If the colors prove an infection is around the corner, the nurses are alerted to give the patient extra fluid, to increase the chances of the infection starting.

Debbie Bowman of American Senior Communities said they even started something new for the enrolled patients, “We’ve actually implemented a cranberry cocktail in the afternoon or sometimes the cranberry tablets. If we see that a resident is nitrite positive.”


This new program is not only saving the community fewer visits to the hospital, but less antibiotics are prescribed as well. If the results continue on this positive trend, the pixie program may be implemented in facilities statewide. 

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Jodelle Maglaya
Jodelle Maglaya

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