A study presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) shows that daily bathing of pediatric patients with disposable clothes containing 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) reduces bloodstream infections by 59%.
"We took great care to ensure successful implementation of the new bathing regimen," said Adam N. Karcz, infection preventionist at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. The team examined the impact of implementing a daily CHG bathing protocol for all pediatric patients in the Riley Hospital.
"By educating everyone on the care team -- including parents -- and standardizing bathing procedures, we were able to dramatically reduce infections and save healthcare dollars in just six months."
CHG is an antimicrobial that kills germs on a patient's skin for a prolonged period of time.
Previously, the hospital used CHG for daily bathing to reduce bloodstream infections in the hematology/oncology unit with marked success.
The infection prevention team developed a comprehensive educational program to adopt daily CHG bathing for all patients.
Bathing compliance increased from 45% to 81% during the six-month study period.
During the control period -- six months prior to implementation -- the 269-bed hospital had 22 bloodstream infections.
During the implementation period, the number dropped to nine bloodstream infections.
The hospital also experienced a 56% drop in the number of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections during this time period.
The reduction in healthcare-associated infections during the implementation period represents a potential cost savings of $297,999.