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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2009 Nov;30(11):1031-5. doi: 10.1086/644751.

Prevention of bloodstream infections by use of daily chlorhexidine baths for patients at a long-term acute care hospital.

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  • 1Medical Specialists, Munster, Indiana, USA.



To evaluate the effect of bathing patients with 2% chlorhexidine on the rates of central vascular catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infection (BSI) at a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH).


Quasi-experimental study.


A 70-bed LTACH in the greater Chicago area.


All consecutive patients admitted to the LTACH during the period from February 2006 to February 2008.


For patients at the LTACH, daily 2% chlorhexidine baths were instituted during the period from September 2006 until May 2007 (ie, the intervention period). A preintervention period (in which patients were given daily soap-and-water baths) and a postintervention period (in which patients were given daily nonmedicated baths and weekly 2% chlorhexidine baths) were also observed. The rates of CVC-associated BSI and ventilator-associated pneumonia were analyzed for the intervention period and for the pre- and postintervention periods.


The rates of CVC-associated BSI were 9.5, 3.8, and 6.4 cases per 1,000 CVC-days during the preintervention, intervention, and postintervention periods, respectively. By the end of the intervention period, there was a net reduction of 99% in the CVC-associated BSI rate. No changes were seen in the rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia during the preintervention and intervention periods.


Daily chlorhexidine baths appeared to be an effective intervention to reduce rates of CVC-associated BSI in an LTACH.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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