Chlorhexidine bathing


Intravenous literature: Dixon, J.M. and Carver, R.L. (2010) Daily chlorhexidine gluconate bathing with impregnated cloths results in statistically significant reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections. American Journal of Infection Control. 38(10), p.817-821.


Background – Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) contribute to increased morbidity, mortality, length of stay, and excessive cost of care.

Methods – This study was an observational cohort study using historical controls in the setting of a 9-bed surgical intensive care unit in a Level I trauma center; all patients admitted or transferred into the unit were enrolled in the study.

Objectives – A quality improvement intervention protocol was instituted to reduce CLABSI incidence with a 3-month effectiveness study using 2% chlorhexidine gluconate-impregnated cloths for daily patient bathing; education of surgical intensive care unit staff on changes to CLABSI prevention protocol and all existing CLABSI prevention policies and bundles already in place; and compliance monitoring and documentation.

Results – The 3-month effectiveness study showed a decrease in CLABSI rates from 12.07 CLABSIs per 1000 central line-days to 3.17 CLABSIs per 1000 central line-days (73.7% rate reduction; P = .0358).

Conclusion – CLABSI incidence rates were reduced in a high-risk patient population using evidence-based prevention bundles and implementing daily bathing with 2% chlorhexidine gluconate nonrinse cloths.

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