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"Chlorhexidine-coated CVC caps may provide a therapeutic improvement in CVC hemodialysis management" Weiss et al (2021).
Chlorhexidine-coated CVC caps and CLABSI reduction


Purpose: Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is the second leading cause of death in hemodialysis patients. Patients dialyzed via central venous catheters (CVCs) are more susceptible to vascular access-related bloodstream infection (VRBSI), sepsis, and mortality when compared to patients with other dialysis accesses.

Patients and methods: A retrospective observational data analysis was conducted from 13 outpatient dialysis clinics in the United States to compare novel chlorhexidine-coated end caps to standard needlefree connectors for differences in CLABSI rates when utilizing CVCs for hemodialysis. There were two periods in this study: in the first study period over a 5-month period (May 2018 to September 2018), data were evaluated from a group of patients undergoing hemodialysis using chlorhexidine end-caps (‘chlorhexidine group’) as well as a group using standard needlefree connectors (‘standard group’). An initial assessment found that a substantial CLABSI rate reduction was seen with use of chlorhexidine-coated end caps; therefore, most patients were switched to chlorhexidine by February 2019 and data continued to be collected till June 2019. The second study period spanned 9 months from October 2018 to June 2019.

Results: Across 13 dialysis centers, anonymized health records of 5934 patients who were dialyzed via CVCs between May 2018 and June 2019 were analyzed. The mean age was 61.3 and 47.1% of all patients were female. Study period one included 967 patients with chlorhexidine and 1044 patients with standard end caps, while there were 3647 chlorhexidine and 276 standard patients in the second period. The combined CLABSI rate in the chlorhexidine group was 0.09/1000 CVC days versus 0.63/1000 CVC days in the standard group (p<0.0001).

Conclusion: Chlorhexidine-coated CVC caps may provide a therapeutic improvement in CVC hemodialysis management.


Weiss S, Qureshi M. Evaluating a Novel Hemodialysis Central Venous Catheter Cap in Reducing Bloodstream Infections: A Quality Improvement Initiative. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis. 2021 Apr 28;14:125-131. doi: 10.2147/IJNRD.S304605. PMID: 33953599; PMCID: PMC8091437.