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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2008 Feb;29(2):131-6. doi: 10.1086/526438.

Randomized controlled trial and meta-analysis of oral decontamination with 2% chlorhexidine solution for the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia.

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1
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effectiveness of oral decontamination with 2% chlorhexidine solution for the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial and meta-analysis.

SETTING:

A tertiary care university hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

PARTICIPANTS:

Adult patients who received mechanical ventilation and who were hospitalized in intensive care units and general medical wards.

METHODS:

The patients were randomized to receive oral decontamination with 2% chlorhexidine solution or normal saline solution 4 times per day until their endotracheal tubes were removed. The outcome measures were the development of VAP and oropharyngeal colonization with gram-negative bacilli. Meta-analysis was performed by combining the results of the present study with those from another randomized controlled trial that also used a 2% chlorhexidine formulation for oral decontamination.

RESULTS:

The characteristics of the patients in the chlorhexidine group (n=102) and the normal saline group (n=105) were not significantly different. The incidence of VAP in the chlorhexidine group was 4.9% (5 of 102), and the incidence in the normal saline group was 11.4% (12 of 105) (P=.08). The rate of VAP in the chlorhexidine group was 7 episodes per 1,000 ventilator-days, and the rate in the normal saline group was 21 episodes per 1,000 ventilator-days (P=.04). Irritation of the oral mucosa was observed in 10 (9.8%) of the patients in the chlorhexidine group and in 1 (0.9%) of the patients in the normal saline group (P=.001). Oropharyngeal colonization with gram-negative bacilli was either reduced or delayed in the chlorhexidine group. Overall mortality of the patients did not differ significantly between the groups. Meta-analysis of 2 randomized controlled trials revealed an overall relative risk of VAP for patients in the chlorhexidine group of 0.53 (95% confidence interval, 0.31-0.90; P=.02).

CONCLUSION:

Oral decontamination with 2% chlorhexidine solution is an effective and safe method for preventing VAP in patients who receive mechanical ventilation.

PMID:
18179368
DOI:
10.1086/526438
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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