The Compatibility of Chlorhexidine and a Skin Care Product Line: A Real-World Analysis of Hospital-Acquired Infection Rates
Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) use helps reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Chlorhexidine gluconate effectiveness can be reduced by use of skin care products. Although laboratory work can be performed to prove compatibility, such work has limitations. The purpose of this study was to compare HAI rates when CHG antiseptic wipes were used in conjunction with a silicone- and micronutrient-based skin care product line (SMSP) and when CHG wipes were used without the SMSP. Using commercial distribution data, 17 hospitals that purchased both CHG wipes and SMSP were identified. Hospital-acquired infection rates from this group were compared with HAI rates from 18 hospitals that used CHG wipes, but not SMSP. Hospital-acquired infection information was obtained from the Leapfrog Group (www.hospitalsafetyscore.org/). Four infection rates were compared: (1) infection in the blood during an intensive care unit stay, (2) infection in the urinary tract during an intensive care unit stay, (3) surgical site infection after colon surgery, and (4) average infection rate from 1 to 3. There was no significant difference between the infection rates of the two groups (Ps ranged from .285 to .983). There was also no statistically significant association between hospital grade and product use (P = .194). When considering publicly available data on HAI, there was no measurable difference in HAI rates between facilities that use CHG wipes with or without an SMSP. The SMSP does not impact the efficacy of CHG wipes.