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J Hosp Infect. 1988 Apr;11 Suppl B:5-9.

Prevention of intraoperative wound contamination with chlorhexidine shower and scrub.

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Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington 06032.


In a prospective, controlled, clinical trial, we found that preoperative showering and scrubbing with 4% chlorhexidine gluconate was more effective than povidone-iodine or triclocarban medicated soap in reducing skin colonization at the site of surgical incision. Mean log colony counts of the incision site were one half to one log lower for patients who showered with chlorhexidine compared to those who showered with the other regimens. No growth was observed on 43% of the post shower skin cultures from patients in the chlorhexidine group compared with 16% of the cultures from patients who had povidone-iodine showers and 5% of those from patients who used medicated soap and water. The frequency of positive intraoperative wound cultures was 4% with chlorhexidine, 9% with povidone-iodine and 14% with medicated soap and water. This study demonstrates that chlorhexidine gluconate is a more effective skin disinfectant than either povidone-iodine or triclocarban soap and water and that its use is associated with lower rates of intraoperative wound contamination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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