Daily CHG bathing of pediatric patients helps drop CLABSIs by 59%, study finds

When Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis implemented a daily bathing protocol for all pediatric patients using disposable cloths with 2 percent chlorhexidine gluconate, central line-associated bloodstream infections dropped 59 percent, according to a new study.

Previously, the hospital used CHG wipes for daily bathing in its hematology/oncology unit. To take the practice hospitalwide, the infection prevention team worked with nurses, parents and hospital leadership. In addition to daily bathing, the hospital focused on upping adherence to a bundle of CLABSI prevention practices, including the following:

  • Daily linen changes
  • Assessment of central line dressings
  • Appropriate technique for giving medications
  • Regular tubing and cap changes of central lines

"We took great care to ensure successful implementation of the new bathing regimen," said Adam Karcz, MPH, an infection preventionist at Riley Hospital. "Our executive suite and unit managers made sure all staff understood that this was a priority. 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."

Before implementing daily bathing, the hospital recorded 22 CLABSIs in six months. During the study, there were just 9 CLABSIs. Additionally, the hospital saw fewer methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections and saved nearly $298,000.

The study will be presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

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