Chlorhexidine-based antiseptic solutions effectively reduce catheter-related bacteremia

Abstract

The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate if the application of chlorhexidine-based solutions (ChloraPrep®) to the exit site and the hub of long-term hemodialysis catheters could prevent catheter-related bacteremia (CRB) and prolong catheter survival when compared with povidone–iodine solutions. There were 20,784 catheter days observed. Povidone–iodine solutions (Betadine®) were used in the first half of the study and ChloraPrep® was used in the second half for all the patients. Both groups received chlorhexidine-impregnated dressings at the exit sites. The use of Chloraprep® significantly decreased the incidence of CRB (1.0 vs 2.2/1,000 catheter days, respectively, P = 0.0415), and hospitalization due to CRB (1.8 days vs 4.1 days/1,000 catheter days, respectively, P = 0.0416). The incidence of exit site infection was similar for the two groups. Both the period of overall catheter survival (207.6 days vs 161.1 days, P = 0.0535) and that of infection-free catheter survival (122.0 days vs 106.9 days, P = 0.1100) tended to be longer for the catheters cleansed with ChloraPrep®, with no statistical significance. In conclusion, chlorhexidine-based solutions are more effective for the prevention of CRB than povidone–iodine solutions. This positive impact cannot be explained by decreased number of exit site infections. This study supports the notion that the catheter hub is the entry site for CRB.

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Acknowledgments

This study is dedicated to the living memory of Mrs. Cherry Charlton, RN, whose singing voice will always be recalled in the Pediatric Hemodialysis Unit at the University of Miami/Holtz Children’s Hospital.

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Correspondence to Ali Mirza Onder.

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Onder, A.M., Chandar, J., Billings, A. et al. Chlorhexidine-based antiseptic solutions effectively reduce catheter-related bacteremia. Pediatr Nephrol 24, 1741–1747 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00467-009-1154-5

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Keywords

  • Catheter survival
  • Catheter-related bacteremia
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Povidone–iodine
  • Children