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This study examined all cases of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) in the haemodialysis cohort at the Royal Darwin Hospital, Australia over a seven-year period. Midway through this period, antisepsis for arteriovenous fistulae (AVF) and central venous catheters (CVC) changed from 0.5% chlorhexidine solution to 2% chlorhexidine solution.

Rates of SAB episodes were calculated using registry data. Trends in SAB over time were analysed using an interrupted regression analysis. Following the change to 2% chlorhexidine, average SAB rates decreased by 68%, and it is estimated that 0.111 cases of SAB/patient-year were prevented. CVC-related SAB rates remained low throughout. These results support the use of 2% chlorhexidine in skin antisepsis for patients with AVF.


Stewart, B.J., Gardiner, T., Perry, G.J. and Tong, S.Y. (2015) Reduction in Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia rates in patients receiving haemodialysis following alteration of skin antisepsis procedures. The Journal of Hospital Infection. December 1st. .

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2015.10.022.

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