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Surgical scrub solution: It's good for patients, too
Date:9/4/2009

ight soap to prevent infection as it is to find the right drug to treat patients who develop an infection," says Perl, a professor of medicine and pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"Our results show that using chlorhexidine [glutonate] as a daily washing agent is a simple, effective and relatively cheap way to protect the health of our most vulnerable patients," she adds, noting that various products cost very little. A 320-ounce bottle of the scrub solution costs as little as $6 a bottle, while 15 milliliter packets cost 33 cents each. It is also available as either a solid reddish-colored bar or an even milder baby-wipe type cloth containing a 2 percent chlorhexidine glutonate solution (at a cost of $2.57 for a pack of two.)

Perl says the goal is to "actively remove" bacteria that may be harmful to the patient or other patients in the hospital, people at greater risk of infection because of a weakened immune system or from use of medical devices that may offer a route for bacteria to enter the body.

"Because these bacteria have built up resistance to many of the most common antibiotic drugs used to kill them, our goal is to stop them from infecting patients or from spreading from patient to patient, as we are left with few options for treatment after they colonize and then infect a patient," says Perl, who points out that the chemical's antibacterial effects can last from six to 48 hours, depending on the strength of the solution.

"And altering the daily bathing routine is a simple and effective means of doing so because it involves no additional workload for nurses," she says.

The study showed no skin rashes or adverse events during the test period, between December 2004 and January 2006. Each critically ill patient was tested for infectious bacteria within 48 hours of admission and then weekly thereafter with either nasal or buttock swabs, and for the remainder of their hospital stay.
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Contact: David March
dmarch1@jhmi.edu
410-955-1534
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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