Medical Device Alert: All medical devices and medicinal products containing chlorhexidine (MDA/2012/075)


Intravenous news: The MHRA report “The MHRA has received a number of reports of anaphylactic reactions following the use of products containing chlorhexidine. Two examples are given below:

  • a patient had an anaphylactic reaction when a skin wipe that contained chlorhexidine gluconate was used prior to cannulation. The patient had previously had an anaphylactic reaction whilst under general anaesthetic but at the time the cause of the reaction was unknown.
  • it was reported that a patient with a known chlorhexidine allergy, which was noted on his file and on his wristband, suffered a cardiac arrest shortly after a chlorhexidine impregnated central venous catheter was inserted whilst in the operating theatre. He was successfully resuscitated.

There are also other reports of allergic reactions to chlorhexidine published in journals.”

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