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Comment & Response |

Chlorhexidine Bathing and Infections in Critically Ill Patients

José Luis Soto-Hernandez, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Infectious Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia Manuel Velasco Suarez, Tlalpan, Mexico
JAMA. 2015;313(18):1863. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3533.
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To the Editor The study by Dr Noto and colleagues,1 a single-center, multiple crossover, cluster randomized clinical trial involving 9340 patients admitted to 5 ICUs at a tertiary care medical center compared daily bathing with chlorhexidine against washing with nonantimicrobial cloths. Chlorhexidine bathing did not reduce the incidence of health care–associated infections.

It is not surprising to find a low health care-related infection rate of 2.86 per 1000 patient-days during the chlorhexidine period and 2.90 per 1000 patient-days during the control bathing period in their ICU patients when the median length of stay was only 2.56 days in the chlorhexidine group and 2.39 days in the control group, and the mean duration of hospital stay was 5 days in both groups.


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May 12, 2015
Michael J. Noto, MD, PhD; Todd W. Rice, MD, MSc; Arthur P. Wheeler, MD
1Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA. 2015;313(18):1863-1864. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3539.
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