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Infection Control & Patient Safety

Daily Antisepctic Baths Reduce the Risk of Bloodstream Infections in Critically Ill Children

Published January 28, 2013 9:20 AM by Linda Jones
Daily baths with an ordinary antibacterial cleanser can safely reduce the risk of bloodstream infections in critically ill children, according to a trial conducted in five pediatric hospitals and led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

According to a press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine, a report on the findings was published in The Lancet.

The study compared standard soap baths with antiseptic baths with diluted chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). Children bathed with the antiseptic solution had a 36% lower risk of bloodstream infections, compared with those given soap-and-water baths.

"Daily bedside baths with an antiseptic solution may be an easy, quick and relatively cheap way to cut the risk of a potentially life-threatening infection in these vulnerable children," said lead investigator Aaron Milstone, MD, MHS, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Bloodstream infections, a common occurrence among critically ill patients, can lead to serious complications, including organ damage and death. Each infection can cost up to $39,000 in additional treatment.

During the study, most children experienced no side effects to the daily baths; 12 children had mild reactions to the solution, such as skin irritation.

The research was funded by Sage Products Inc., with additional support from the National Institutes of Health. Sage manufactures the prepackaged pre-soaked, one-time washcloths used in the study. Two of the study authors have received grant support from Sage Products Inc. (CHG is not manufactured by Sage. It is produced by multiple manufacturers and is available over the counter.)
posted by Linda Jones


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    Occupation: Infection Control Professionals
    Setting: Welch Allyn; St. Luke’s Hospital (Smith)
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