The introduction of daily bathing with disposable, germ-killing cloths resulted in a sustained decrease in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus incidence at a Canadian geriatric facility, according to a recent presentation.
The findings, presented at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology annual meeting, note that the researchers were able to reduce the rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by 82% during a 33-month period through the use of disposable cloths containing chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
“Because patients who are colonized with MRSA have a much greater chance of developing a MRSA infection, we knew we needed to intervene to stop transmission and prevent infection,” study author Heather L. Candon, MSc, stated in a press release. “Use of the CHG cloths proved to be a very effective way to achieve and sustain this reduction.”
Use of the wipes began as a pilot study in 27-bed unit dedicated to patients with complex sub-acute and chronic conditions. Patients included in the study had an average age of 87 years. The transmission of MRSA within the unit was monitored through use of swab collections within 48 hours of admission and on discharge, according to the abstract.
Prior to the introduction of the wipes, the authors reported a transmission rate of 4.99 MRSA cases per 1,000 patient days among 169 admissions during a 6-month period. Following the intervention being introduced and becoming a standard of care, the rate was reduced to 0.88 cases per 1,000 patient days — an 82% reduction — across 1,339 admissions during a 33-month period.
Candon noted in the release that while previous reports had shown bathing with CHG cloths could reduce the risk of infection in patients undergoing surgery, the technique had not to their knowledge been studied for reduction of MRSA transmission in a geriatric setting.
- Van Toen JE, Candon HL, Amitov C. Sustained reduction in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus incidence in a geriatric setting by implementing daily bathing with 2% chlorhexidine gluconate cloths. Am J Infect Control. 2012. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2012.04.268