Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Mar;32(3):238-43. doi: 10.1086/658334.

Impact of chlorhexidine bathing on hospital-acquired infections among general medical patients.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.



A paucity of data exists regarding the effectiveness of daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing in non-intensive care unit (ICU) settings.


To evaluate the effectiveness of daily CHG bathing in a non-ICU setting to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enteroccocus (VRE) hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), compared with daily bathing with soap and water.


Quasi-experimental study design; the primary outcome was the composite incidence of MRSA and VRE HAIs. Clostridium difficile HAI incidence was measured as a nonequivalent dependent variable with which to assess potential confounders.


Four general medicine units, with a total of 94 beds, at a 719-bed academic tertiary-care facility in Providence, Rhode Island.


A total of 7,102 and 7,699 adult patients were admitted to the medical service in the control and intervention groups, respectively. Patients admitted from January 1 through December 31, 2008, were bathed daily with soap and water (control group), and those admitted from February 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, were bathed daily with CHG-impregnated cloths (intervention group).


Daily bathing with CHG was associated with a 64% reduced risk of developing the primary outcome, namely, the composite incidence of MRSA and VRE HAIs (hazard ratio, 0.36 [95% CI, 0.2-0.8]; P = .01). There was no change in the incidence of C. difficile HAIs (P = .6). Colonization with MRSA was associated with an increased risk of developing a MRSA HAI (hazard ratio, 8 [95% CI, 3-19]; P < .001).


Daily CHG bathing was associated with a reduced HAI risk, using a composite endpoint of MRSA and VRE HAIs, in a general medical inpatient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center