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Invited Critique |

A Bath a Day:  Comment on “Effect of Chlorhexidine Whole-Body Bathing on Hospital-Acquired Infections Among Trauma Patients”

Shirin Towfigh, MD
Arch Surg. 2010;145(3):246. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.6.
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Chlorhexidine gluconate is becoming the premier preventive antimicrobial drug. Modern evidence supports its application as a surgical scrub, surgical skin preparation, oral decontaminant, and skin preparation for central line placement. This is a valiant comeback from the reviews that showed that preoperative chlorhexidine scrubs do not reduce surgical site infections.

This study and others demonstrate benefits of daily baths with chlorhexidine in the ICU, with an overall decrease in surgical site infections, VAP, and other nosocomial infections. Most prominent is the reduction in infections attributed to MRSA, VRE, and other gram-positive bacteria. This study specifically addresses these findings in the TICU population, and an important point is that these patients benefited just as much as other study cohorts.

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