Chlorhexidine Partners Network Debuts, Focuses on Antiseptic's Role in Preventing Infections

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Two leading makers of infection control technology for vascular access have united to form the Chlorhexidine Partners Network, with other patient safety- dedicated companies expected to join the network soon. The founders of the network are RyMed Technologies and Arrow International, Inc., a subsidiary of Teleflex Incorporated.

The network was formed to educate hospital-based infection control professionals about the infection prevention benefits of chlorhexidine, which is a broad-spectrum antiseptic, including chlorhexidine-related best practices for preventing infections.

An example of chlorhexidines value is that it provides an extra measure of infection prevention in an antimicrobial-impregnated IV connector, says Paul Blackburn, RyMeds senior marketing director. In particular, it is more effective than silver alone in killing pathogens associated with bloodstream infections1. This efficacy informed the design of our InVision-Plus CS® with Neutral Advantage technology, the only IV connector that has a septum impregnated with both chlorhexidine and silver.

Kathy Conner, vice president of marketing for Arrow, says, Our company has been at the forefront of infection protection since the early 1990s, when we introduced the ARROW CVC with ARROWg+ard® technology, central venous catheters utilizing chlorhexidine. Today, we continue to expand the use of chlorhexidine to our ARROW PICCs with Chlorag+ard technology, which is both antimicrobial and antithrombogenic. We believe that the wider use of chlorhexidine will inevitably result in fewer hospital-acquired infections, which would have tremendous relevance for improved patient safety. It would also mean lower infection-related expenses for hospitals, including fewer outlays for unreimbursed care.


The Chlorhexidine Partners Network debuted with a presentation by Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, on the benefits of chlorhexidine, presented 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.

The networks scope will include educational efforts and a website,, which will launch later this year, to create awareness of chlorhexidines role in protecting patients from infection.

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 Gramnegative bacteria and fungi. It has both bactericidal and bacteriostatic mechanisms of action, depending on concentration. Its mechanism of action is membrane disruption. Chlorhexidine 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 handwashes; general medical handwashes; 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, mouthwashes to reduce the microbial count and plaque.

RyMed Technologies manufactures needleless IV connectors including the InVision-Plus CS® with Neutral Advantage technology, the only IV connector of its kind with a chlorhexidine and silver-impregnated septum.

Arrow manufactures a range of vascular access catheters impregnated with chlorhexidine-based technologies. The most notable are the Arrow® PICC with Chlorag±ard technology, the worlds only chlorhexidine-based antimicrobial and antithrombogenic PICC, and the ARROW CVC with ARROWg±ard® Technology which utilizes chlorhexidine and silver sulfadiazine.