Chlorhexidine skin symptoms and allergy in dialysis patients and nurses

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Up to 9% of cases of IgE-mediated perioperative anaphylaxis in the U.K. have been attributable to chlorhexidine; a similar figure has been reported in by a Danish study” Chan and Merchant (2019).

Abstract:

Chlorhexidine is a synthetic biguanide used as an antiseptic in hospital and household products. Chlorhexidine exposure has been implicated in various hypersensitivity reactions, including allergic contact dermatitis, fixed drug eruptions, occupational asthma, generalized urticaria, and anaphylaxis. Perioperative anaphylactic reactions to chlorhexidine have been reported since the 1990s and are typically caused by chlorhexidine-containing lubricants for in-dwelling urinary catheters, chlorhexidine-coated central venous catheters (CVCs), and topical chlorhexidine application. Up to 9% of cases of IgE-mediated perioperative anaphylaxis in the U.K. have been attributable to chlorhexidine; a similar figure has been reported in by a Danish study.

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Reference:

Chan, F.L., Merchant, A.A., Breede, N., Lipszyc, J.C., House, R. and Tarlo, S.M. (2019) Chlorhexidine skin symptoms and allergy in dialysis patients and nurses. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. May 24th. doi: 10.1111/cea.13440. .

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