Chlorhexidine Baths

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    Hey everyone. Our facility just implemented chlorhexidine baths in all the ICU's after a trial on one unit. I have read the research and it seems to indicate a decrease in VRE, MRSA, CRBSI, etc. I'm just curious if any others out there are doing the same and seeing any decrease in the rates of infection.
  2. 24 Comments so far...

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    In my last unit we were doing pre-op chlorhex washes on patients with MRSA and VRE, on behalf of OT for a trial that they were enrolled in. Unfortunately I can't tell you any formal results as the trial was still running when I left. Having said that, the indication was that hospital acquired MRSA and VRE rates for patients who had been through theatre was dropping. We also began to wash neutropaenic patients with a chlorhex wash as well, following a trial guideline that the haem-oc ward was implementing.
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    We have been doing Q24hr chlorhexidine bathing since late last year. I also read the research but I don't know that anyone at our facility is actually measuring the outcome so we know if it's making a difference for us.
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    My hospital in Atlanta is doing this also. We just started it within the last year- but unfortunately, since I work in the OR, I am not sure of the results.
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    We started using the Chlorhexidine bath wipes last year. We use them on patients once a day after their regular baths. I'm not sure if they really have made a difference in our infection rates or not- we were told they are supposed to decrease rates. The only complaint I get about them from patients is how cold they are... as they can not be heated up.
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    Quote from ICU-RN2007
    We started using the Chlorhexidine bath wipes last year. We use them on patients once a day after their regular baths. I'm not sure if they really have made a difference in our infection rates or not- we were told they are supposed to decrease rates. The only complaint I get about them from patients is how cold they are... as they can not be heated up.
    The wipes we use came with these fancy little warmers that tell you when they are warm enough to use.
    NtannRN likes this.
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    we have been using the chlorhexidine wipes in my unit for about 2.5 years now?

    i dont mind them, did take a while to get use to them. the one thing i have noticed is the decrease in fungal infections in the groin, armpit, and under the breast area. just seemed like most of the patients before had nystatin powder/cream, and i rarely see the yeast infections in those areas like i use too. (now i have done no research this is just based on my personal opinion and from what i have observed).

    i still find that most of us like to give a good soap and water bath though and use the wipes afterwards especially if you have a patient is newly admitted and/or visible soiled.

    i like the fact the packages come stay warmed up in the pre-heated 'wamer', but they get cold very fast when taken out of the warmer/package. i usually like to wrap the packages up in a 'pink pad' to help trap the heat, while preparing the patient for a bath or to be cleaned up.

    even chlorhexidine has become popular in oral care. we use this solution on the ventilator patients to keep the mouth clean, and prevent pneumonia, and etc (i am sure other units use something to this standard). now my hospital has started requiring other floors to use the chlohexidine solution for oral care. i wont be surprised if they start using the wipes on the floor
    Last edit by strength4unityRN on May 10, '11 : Reason: spelling error
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    Quote from ckh23
    The wipes we use came with these fancy little warmers that tell you when they are warm enough to use.

    Oh we used to have warm wipes... I don't know why exactly they don't let us warm our Chlorhexidine ones!
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    Quote from ckh23
    Hey everyone. Our facility just implemented chlorhexidine baths in all the ICU's after a trial on one unit. I have read the research and it seems to indicate a decrease in VRE, MRSA, CRBSI, etc. I'm just curious if any others out there are doing the same and seeing any decrease in the rates of infection.
    I work in an ICU in Australia, and we started using the chlorhexidine baths last November, after a large spike in VRE patients. Our Infection control unit has been tracking the incidence of VRE since then, and the numbers have dropped dramatically. In fact, since we instituted the baths, we have had only 4 cases of VRE, and one of them was already positive when they were admitted.

    Nikki
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    We don't have the wipes, but we have it in a pump style bottle. We use a few squirts in with the bath water. We're supposed to be getting the wipes. I wonder if putting it in warm bath water reduces it's effectiveness since some posters are not allowed to warm the wipes. Anyone else use the pump bottles?


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