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J Arthroplasty. 2013 Aug;28(7):1061-5. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2013.02.026. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Economic evaluation of chlorhexidine cloths on healthcare costs due to surgical site infections following total knee arthroplasty.

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  • 1Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics, Center for Joint Preservation and Replacement, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD 21215, USA.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the overall annual healthcare cost savings of adding a pre-operative chlorhexidine cloth preparation protocol. We used reports from the National Healthcare Safety Network and previously published reports to determine a range of surgical site infection rates following total knee arthroplasty and the cost per revision procedure. The savings listed are potential, but may be less. The cost benefit of using chlorhexidine at our institution per 1,000 total knee arthroplasty patients was a net savings of approximately $2.1 million. The annual healthcare savings ranged from $0.78 to $3.18 billion. This epidemiologic evaluation of using chlorhexidine prior to undergoing total knee arthroplasty has demonstrated the potential to decrease healthcare costs primarily by decreasing the incidence of surgical site infections.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


chlorhexidine cloths; chlorhexidine gluconate; healthcare costs; periprosthetic joint infection; surgical site infection; total knee arthroplasty

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