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Acta clinica Belgica

Daily chlorhexidine bathing does not increase skin toxicity after remission induction or stem cell transplantation.


PMID 27142215

Abstract

A recent multicenter study demonstrated that bathing with chlorhexidine reduces the transmission of resistant organisms and the risk of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections in ICUs. We wanted to confirm the feasibility of this strategy in a cohort of patients in a typical intensive haematology unit. Patients treated with remission induction chemotherapy, autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplantation received daily chlorhexidine bathing. To avoid deshydratation of skin, we used prophylactic application of hydrating lotion, replaced by corticosteroid cream in case of skin toxicity of chemotherapy or conditioning. We studied 15 consecutive admissions of 12 patients. Daily chlorhexidine bathing never needed to be interrupted, even though 53% of patients were treated with intravenous cytarabine. Patients were satisfied with the skin treatment and reported few unwanted effects. Daily chlorhexidine bathing was feasible in our intensive haematology unit in all patients and did not increase skin toxicity, even when treated with IV cytarabine.

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