Antimicrobial Chlorhexidine Baths Did Not Reduce Hospital Infections

Michael Noto, MD, PhD Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael Noto, MD, PhD

Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Noto: Health care-associated infections are the most common complication for hospitalized patients and several studies have suggested that bathing critically ill patients with the antimicrobial chlorhexidine reduces health care-associated infections. In the largest study of chlorhexidine bathing to date, however, we were unable to demonstrate a reduction in infections.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Noto: The finding that bathing patients with chlorhexidine did not reduce infections in our study suggests this practice is unnecessary and provides an opportunity to reduce costs as chlorhexidine bathing adds expense.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Noto: Although we were disappointed that chlorhexidine bathing did not reduce infections, we are very excited that this large, pragmatic, low cost collaborative study design can be applied to address other questions in critical illness.

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