Impact of chlorhexidine-impregnated washcloths on reducing incidence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci colonization


Intravenous literature: Bass, P., Karki, S., Rhodes, D., Gonelli, S., Land, G., Watson, K., Spelman, D., Harrington, G., Kennon, J. and Cheng, A.C. (2013) Impact of chlorhexidine-impregnated washcloths on reducing incidence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci colonization in hematology–oncology patients. AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control. 41(4), p.345-348.


Background – Daily skin cleansing with washcloths impregnated with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) of patients in intensive care unit is associated with reduction in incidence of vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) acquisition. This study describes the impact on incidence of VRE colonization after the implementation of daily skin cleansing with 2% CHG-impregnated washcloths in hematology–oncology patients.

Methods – In this before-and-after study, we compared the incidence rate of VRE colonization during the baseline period (where routine soap-and-water bathing was used) with the intervention period where patients were cleansed with 2% CHG-impregnated washcloths.

Results – Acquisition of VRE decreased from 7.8% in the baseline to 3.8% in the intervention period (relative risk, 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-1.09; P = .07). The crude relative rate of acquisition during the intervention period compared with the baseline period was 0.53 (95% CI, 0.23-1.23; P = .13). Patients who had been a roommate of a patient subsequently found to have VRE were at a significantly increased risk for acquiring VRE (hazard ratio, 18.8, 95% CI, 5.37-66.15; P < .001). However, patients admitted to the same bed number of previously known VRE-colonized patient were not at increased risk of VRE acquisition (hazard ratio, 0.37, 95% CI, 0.11-1.22; P = .10).

Conclusion – We did not observe a statistically significant reduction in the rate of VRE colonization in association with the use of 2% CHG-impregnated washcloths among hematology–oncology patients.

Main page


Comments are closed.

Free Email Updates
Join 5.5K IVTEAM members. Subscribe now and be the first to receive all the latest free updates from IVTEAM!
100% Privacy. We don't spam.