CHG bathing reduces skin bacterial burden, but burden returns to baseline after 72 h” Johnson et al (2018)
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing on skin bacterial burden in neonates.
STUDY DESIGN: In this prospective observational study, arm and groin skin bacterial growth was measured in 40 CHG-exposed and nonexposed neonates admitted to the NICU. Exposed neonates received 2% CHG baths per protocol for central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) prevention or Staphylococcus aureus decolonization.
RESULTS: Forty neonates were enrolled, 18 of whom were CHG-exposed. Mean baseline Gram-positive (GP) bacterial burden was 2.19 log CFU/ml on the arm and 1.81 log CFU/ml on the groin. Bacterial burden decreased after the first bath, but returned to baseline by 72 h. Residual skin CHG concentration declined over time, with a corresponding increase in GP bacterial burden.
CONCLUSIONS: CHG bathing reduces skin bacterial burden, but burden returns to baseline after 72 h. Twice weekly CHG bathing may be inadequate to suppress skin bacterial growth in hospitalized neonates.
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Johnson, J., Suwantarat, N., Colantuoni, E., Ross, T.L., Aucott, S.W., Carroll, K.C. and Milstone, A.M. (2018) The impact of chlorhexidine gluconate bathing on skin bacterial burden of neonates admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Journal of Perinatology. September 20th. .