Chlorhexidine Partners Network Launches Website to Educate Healthcare Professionals

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The Chlorhexidine Partners Network (CPN), a new organization composed of leading makers of patient safety technology, announces the launch of its website, www.chlorhexidinefacts.com.

The website will contain information about the molecule chlorhexidine, its mechanism of action, applications to healthcare and other educational information. The network was formed to educate hospital-based infection control professionals and clinicians about the infection control benefits of chlorhexidine, a broad-spectrum antiseptic. The network’s educational efforts will also encompass chlorhexidine-related best practices for preventing infections.

The initial members of CPN are Arrow International, Inc., a subsidiary of Teleflex Incorporated (Reading, PA); RyMed Technologies, Inc. (Franklin, Tenn.); Sage Products, Inc. (Cary, Ill.); Medichem (Barcelona, Spain); and George Uhe Company, Inc. (Nutley, N.J.) (Medichem chlorhexidine products are distributed in the United States exclusively by George Uhe Co., Inc.) Other significant medical device makers are expected to join the network this year.

"Chlorhexidine has had a very positive effect on patient care over the past 60 plus years," says Kathy Conner, vice president of marketing for Teleflex – ARROW Vascular Access Division of Teleflex. "Teleflex is a proud partner in the Chlorhexidine Partners Network, which connects companies from diverse backgrounds to highlight the clinical benefits of this compound on healthcare. Our ARROW branded catheters have been utilizing chlorhexidine for the last 20 years."

Chlorhexidine is a widely used antiseptic for numerous applications in medicine, dentistry, and household use and is the gold standard for several of those applications. It is effective against both Gram-positive and Gram‐negative bacteria and fungi. All of these organisms are commonly implicated in hospital-associated infections (HAIs). Because of its low toxicity level, chlorhexidine offers a safe side-effect profile.

Chlorhexidine inactivates microorganisms with a broader spectrum than other antimicrobials (e.g. antibiotics) and has a quicker kill rate than other antimicrobials (e.g. povidone iodine). When applied in vitro, it has been shown to kill nearly 100 percent of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria within 20 seconds. It kills by disrupting the cell membrane.

Chlorhexidine has both bacteriostatic and bactericidal mechanisms of action, depending on its concentration. Since chlorhexidine formulations can destroy the majority of categories of microbes, there is limited risk for the development of opportunistic infections. The antiseptic also has minimal risk for development of resistance.

Common uses include:

- Impregnation of medical devices. For example, central line catheters and needleless IV connectors to prevent bacterial colonization and infection.

- Topical applications. For example, surgical scrubs; pre-operative skin preparations; surgical hand washes; general medical hand washes; patient bathing to prevent surgical site infection (SSI); and catheter site dressings to prevent central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs).

- Ventilator oral care. For example, oral care bundles including chlorhexidine to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and ventilator-associated events (VAEs).

- Dental Care. For example, mouth washes to reduce the microbial count and plaque.

The Chlorhexidine Partners Network debuted with a presentation by Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, on the benefits of chlorhexidine. Kaye’s lecture took place at the 2012 annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Sponsors of the talk were RyMed, Teleflex and Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company.

On Nov. 14, CPN will make its second presentation, a webinar titled “The Role of Chlorhexidine in Vascular Access: Protecting Your Patient.” For more information and to register, CLICK HERE for the 12 p.m. EST webinar and CLICK HERE for the 3 p.m. EST webinar.

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