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"Prophylactic Administration of Oral Chlorhexidine for Non-Ventilator Hospital Acquired Pneumonia J

Tara Fritz

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine


Introduction: Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant and antiseptic widely used within the healthcare system due to its broad spectrum for. gram positive and gram negative bacteria, yeasts, dermatophytes, and some lipophilic viruses . Evidence suggests that prophylactic administration of oral chlorhexidine has proven to be extremely advantageous in the setting of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP), reducing incidence and overall healthcare costs. However, conclusions have yet to be made regarding non-ventilator hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP).

Methods: In order to examine this relationship, we performed a retrospective cohort study of CCU patients receiving oral chlorhexidine for 2 years and compared the incidence of non-ventilator HAP in those exposed to oral chlorhexidine versus those who were non-exposed. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi-Squared Test, with a p-value of less than 0.05 being considered statistically significant. All data was stored using Microsoft Excel (2016) and analyzed using R Statistical Software version 3.5.0 (Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria).

Results: 9.0% of those receiving prophylactic oral chlorhexidine (98/1093) developed pneumonia whereas 9.2% of individuals not receiving prophylactic oral chlorhexidine (126/1246) developed pneumonia (P=0.908, X-squared=0.0125). Due to unfamiliarity with protocol and poor compliance, the first two months of data collection were excluded from the study.

Conclusion: Although there was a slight reduction in those who received prophylactic chlorhexidine, there was not a significant reduction in the incidence of pneumonia.

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