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Using chlorhexidine gluconate baths to reduce hospital-acquired infections
Date:2/15/2011

  • CHG cloths more effective in reducing risk for acquiring HAIs
  • Study shows 64 percent decreased risk of infection from MRSA or VRE
  • May be beneficial for both ICU and general medical unit patients

PROVIDENCE, R.I. A new study from Rhode Island Hospital has found a reduced risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) when using two percent chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) cloths for daily bathing instead of soap and water. The study found a 64 percent decrease in the risk of acquiring an infection from either methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). The study is published online in advance of print in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

CHG is an antiseptic that has been shown to reduce the risk of hospital infections in patients in intensive care units but it had not previously been studied in other patient populations. Senior investigator Leonard Mermel, D.O., Sc.M., medical director of the department of epidemiology and infection control at Rhode Island Hospital, and his colleagues conducted a study on general medical hospital units to determine if daily bathing of patients using CHG cloths would be effective in reducing the risk of MRSA and VRE HAIs, as opposed to daily soap and water bathing.

Mermel, who is also a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, says, "The results of our study indicate a significant reduction in the risk of developing an HAI due to MRSA or VRE. We believe that this study demonstrates that daily CHG bathing may be a beneficial infection control intervention for patients outside of the ICU setting."

In the study, a group of 7,699 adult patients admitted to general medicine units were bathed daily with CHG cloths for the duration of their admission. The control group was a group of 7,102 patients who were bathed with soap and water. Through the
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Contact: Nancy Cawley Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert  

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