Bathing pediatric patients with 2% chlorhexidine gluconate reduced the frequency of central line-associated bloodstream infections by 59% and could significantly cut costs for hospitals, according to a study presented at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology annual conference.
“We took great care to ensure successful implementation of the new bathing regimen,” Adam N. Karcz, MPH, infection preventionist at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University, said in a press release. “By educating everyone on the care team, including parents, and standardizing bathing procedures, we were able to dramatically reduce infections and save health care dollars in just 6 months.”
The researchers compared the infection rate during a control period of 6 months before implementation of daily bathing procedures with the rate after 6 months of the program in which chlorhexidine gluconate wipes were utilized. The implementation also included daily linen changes, assessment of central line dressings and regular tube and cap changes on central-line catheters.
At the end of the study period, data showed a 59% decrease in the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). During the control period the hospital diagnosed 22 CLABSI, compared with only nine infections during the implementation period.
The researchers said this reduction in the infection rate resulted in a potential cost savings of $297,999.
“A successful implementation of daily chlorhexidine gluconate bathing for pediatric inpatients can help reduce hospital-acquired infections and provide significant cost savings to the hospital,” Karcz said. “Further studies are needed to evaluate the use of chlorhexidine gluconate, in conjunction with other initiatives in the effort to prevent hospital-acquired infections.”
Karzc AN. Abstract 81243. Presented at: Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology; June 27-29, 2015; Nashville, Tennessee.
Disclosure: Karcz reported no relevant financial disclosures.