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Invited Commentary
November 2015

Chlorhexidine Gluconate, 4%, Showers and Surgical Site Infection Reduction

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Surg. 2015;150(11):1033. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2219

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a focus of many quality improvement programs owing to increased morbidity, resource utilization, and costs. Although national programs have demonstrated a gradual reduction in SSIs over time, the optimal strategy for achieving and sustaining further improvements is unknown. Given that SSIs are a complex and multifactorial problem, care bundles are an appealing solution.1,2 Among 16 studies included in a recent systematic review,1 4 trials included preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate wipes or showers in an SSI prevention bundle. Although there is clear biological rationale for chlorhexidine gluconate in terms of reduction of skin microbial burden, clinical evidence of benefit has been lacking.3