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A 0.5% chlorhexidine gluconate in 70% isopropyl alcohol swab was more effective than 2 other methods for intravenous skin antisepsis

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QUESTION: Which of 3 methods for skin antisepsis before peripheral intravenous (IV) therapy is most effective for preventing catheter related infection?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, blinded {investigators, patients, outcome assessors}*, controlled trial with follow up at 72 hours after removal of the IV catheter.


A 139 bed, acute care hospital in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.


300 patients who required a peripheral IV catheter and were able to read and understand English. Exclusion criteria was an IV catheter that remained in situ for <8 hours. Patients were recruited from the hospital's medical, surgical, intensive care, obstetrics and gynaecology, and outpatient and emergency services. Follow up was 81%.


Before peripheral IV insertion, patients were allocated to receive 1 …

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  • Sources of funding: SoluMed Inc and Johnson and Johnson.

  • For correspondence: Ms A LeBlanc, Yarmouth Regional Hospital Operated by the Western Regional Health Board, 60 Vancouver Street, Yarmouth, NS B5A 2P5, Canada. Fax +1 902 742 0369.

  • * Information provided by author.

  • p Value calculated from data in article.