Chlorhexidine Gluconate Wipes for Infection Prevention in Acute and Critical Care: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness


( Last Updated : April 13, 2016)
Project Line:
Health Technology Review
Project Sub Line:
Summary with Critical Appraisal
Project Number:
RC0769-000

Details


Question


  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of chlorhexidine gluconate wipes for infection prevention in adults patients in acute care?

  2. What is the clinical effectiveness of chlorhexidine gluconate wipes for infection prevention in adults patients in critical care?

  3. What is the cost-effectiveness of chlorhexidine gluconate wipes for infection prevention in adult patients in acute or critical care?


Key Message

Conflicting evidence on the clinical effectiveness of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) wipes for infection prevention in critical care settings was identified from five publications. Based on evidence from systematic reviews of mostly non-randomized trials, the use of 2% CHG-impregnated washcloths appeared to be associated with a reduction in health care-associated infections and bacterial transmission, while two randomized controlled trials suggested that CHG wipes do not provide an advantage over alternative bathing methods with respect to infection prevention. When reported, adverse events associated with CHG wipes were limited to mild skin reactions. Considering the methodological limitations of the evidence from non-randomized trials in particular, results should be interpreted with caution. No evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness of CHG wipes in acute care settings, or cost-effectiveness of CHG wipes in either acute or critical care units, was identified.