May 28, 2019

Risks, benefits of using CHG for handwashing

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

Because of the potential risk of selecting mutants carrying genes for cross-resistance to chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) and antibiotics, it is advisable to reserve the use of CHG for purposes other than hand hygiene, this study finds.

A review of studies showed no significant difference in healthcare-associated infection rates when using CHG for hand hygiene. However, 10 of 13 studies suggested an association with use of and tolerance to CHG. The us of CHG also was associated with skin reactions. 


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Though strong evidence on the risks and benefits of using antimicrobial soaps containing CHG is still lacking, the use of CHG should be used for purposes other than handwashing, the authors advise.

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