The Chlorhexidine Partners Network (CPN), a new organization composed of leading makers of patient safety technology, is sponsoring a free webinar on the importance of chlorhexidine use to protect patient safety during vascular access. The network also recently launched its new website, at www.chlorhexidinefacts.com.
The webinar, titled "The Role of Chlorhexidine in Vascular Access: Protecting Your Patient," will be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Two sessions will be offered, at 12 p.m. EST and 3 p.m. EST.
The webinar will be moderated by Paul L. Blackburn, RN, BSN, MNA, VA-BC, president of the Association for Vascular Access (AVA) and senior marketing director of clinical education for RyMed Technologies, Inc.
"At AVA, one of our main objectives is the prevention of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)," says Blackburn. "As everyone from the CDC to major medical societies now recognizes, chlorhexidine-based products are a proven means of minimizing CLABSI risk. Anyone involved in vascular access should consider attending this webinar to learn more about how chlorhexidine protects patients with an IV line."
Webinar presenters will be Keith Kaye, MD, MPH and Constance Girgenti, RN, VA-BC. Kaye is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Medicine at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center. Girgenti is vascular access coordinator at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, in Joliet, Ill. She also serves as a vascular access specialist consultant for the 11-hospital Presence Health System in Illinois.
The webinar is a project of three CPN members involved in vascular access, ARROW International, PDI, Inc. and RyMed Technologies, Inc. For more information about the webinar and to register, visit www.chlorhexidinefacts.com.
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) such as CLABSIs. 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 precent of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria within 20 seconds.
In its Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections (2011), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends numerous products containing chlorhexidine as evidence-based interventions that may prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). Vascular access products that often include chlorhexidine include central venous catheters, peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs), vascular access site dressings, skin preparation solutions and needleless IV connectors.
Experts consider hand hygiene to be the single most effective measure for preventing bloodstream infections. Chlorhexidine solutions are often used for hand hygiene in hospital settings because hand washing with chlorhexidine solutions has been shown to reduce skin flora by 86 percent to 92 percent. As a surgical scrub, chlorhexidine has been shown to reduce skin flora while also maintaining its antimicrobial activity for up to six hours.
Chlorhexidine is recommended as part of various standards of care by such professional societies and government agencies as the CDC, the World Health Organization, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, (SHEA),the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), and the Oncology Nursing Society. For example, the CDC, INS, and SHEA all recommend chlorhexidine-based solutions for skin preparation prior to vascular access.