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Am J Infect Control. 2013 Feb;41(2):167-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.02.014. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Preoperative chlorhexidine shower or bath for prevention of surgical site infection: a meta-analysis.

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1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chlorhexidine showering is frequently recommended as an important preoperative measure to prevent surgical site infection (SSI). However, the efficacy of this approach is uncertain.

METHODS:

A search of electronic databases was undertaken to identify prospective controlled trials evaluating whole-body preoperative bathing with chlorhexidine versus placebo or no bath for prevention of SSI. Summary risk ratios were calculated using a DerSimonian-Laird random effects model and a Mantel-Haenzel dichotomous effects model.

RESULTS:

Sixteen trials met inclusion criteria with a total of 17,932 patients: 7,952 patients received a chlorhexidine bath, and 9,980 patients were allocated to various comparator groups. Overall, 6.8% of patients developed SSI in the chlorhexidine group compared with 7.2% of patients in the comparator groups. Chlorhexidine bathing did not significantly reduce overall incidence of SSI when compared with soap, placebo, or no shower or bath (relative risk, 0.90; 95% confidence interval: 0.77-1.05, P = .19).

CONCLUSIONS:

Meta-analysis of available clinical trials suggests no appreciable benefit of preoperative whole-body chlorhexidine bathing for prevention of SSI. However, most studies omitted details of chlorhexidine application. Better designed trials with a specified duration and frequency of exposure to chlorhexidine are needed to determine whether preoperative whole-body chlorhexidine bathing reduces SSI.

Comment in

PMID:
22722008
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajic.2012.02.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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