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J Infect. 2008 Dec;57(6):459-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2008.08.012. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Evaluation of ChloraPrep (2% chlorhexidine gluconate in 70% isopropyl alcohol) for skin antisepsis in preparation for blood culture collection.

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Department of Microbiology, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, United Kingdom.



Blood culture contamination is a significant adverse event. This study evaluated whether using ChloraPrep (2% alcoholic chlorhexidine) instead of 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes reduced contamination rates on two Medical Assessment Units (MAU1 and MAU2).


ChloraPrep was introduced for 2 to 3-month intervention periods, initially on MAU1 and MAU2 and subsequently on MAU1 only. Contamination rates were compared with a matched time period in the preceding year and the three month period before ChloraPrep introduction. Education regarding venepucture technique was delivered.


Contamination rates for the time matched pre-intervention period were 17.3% (51/295), MAU1 and 13.5% (31/230), MAU2. During the initial period of ChloraPrep use, rates declined (MAU1; 6.6% [P<0.001], MAU2; 8.5% [P=0.11] both Fisher's Exact Test). However, rates had already started to fall prior to ChloraPrep introduction. There was a non-significant difference between contamination rates in the comparator period immediately prior to ChloraPrep introduction and rates during the first intervention period (MAU1 and MAU2; P>0.05). During the second intervention period, absence of ChloraPrep on MAU2 did not significantly affect contamination (P=0.41) on this ward.


ChloraPrep skin antisepsis did not give a significant reduction in blood culture contamination, but education may have led to the trend to lower contamination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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