Daily bathing strategies and cross-transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms: Impact of chlorhexidine-impregnated wipes in a multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria endemic intensive care unit

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Abstract

Background:

Health–care associated infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in critical care units. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG)–impregnated wipes in the daily bathing of patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) to prevent cross-transmission and colonization by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs)

Methods:

Prospective cohort study with an intervention of 11 months. The intervention consisted of using CHG-impregnated wipes for the daily bathing of patients on mechanical ventilation or colonized by MDROs. Monthly trends in the number of patients colonized by MDROs and the incidence of nosocomial infections were evaluated.

Results:

A total of 1,675 patients were admitted to the unit during the intervention period, and 430 (25.7%) were bathed with chlorhexidine wipes. A significant decrease was observed in the incidence of colonization by MDROs over the months (β = −0.209; r2 = 0.549; P = .027), and in the number of patients colonized compared with the equivalent period of the previous year (22.0% vs 18.4%; P = .01). No significant decrease was observed in the incidence of nosocomial infection between the two periods (4.11% vs 4.57%; P = .355). No dermatologic problems were observed in the treated patients.

Conclusions:

The use of CHG-impregnated wipes reduces cross-transmission and colonization by MDROs in the ICUs in an endemic situation because of multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

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