Are multiple-use bottles of chlorhexidine solutions at risk of contamination in joint replacement surgery?

Christian O Aquilina, Alexander L Aquilina, Jason C J Webb, Mahableshwar Albur, Michael R Whitehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Introduction
Chlorhexidine gluconate 2% w/v in isopropanol 70% solutions in multiple-use bottles are commonly used in surgery as a cost-effective method for skin disinfection. However, multiple-use bottles risk contamination. This study aims to test whether bacterial contamination of multiple-use bottles or their solutions occurs once open and on use between different patients.

Material and Methods
Consecutive samples were taken each time a chlorhexidine bottle was used over a seven-day study-window. Samples were tested using blood culture, agar plate and mass spectrometry.

Results
No growth was observed in 52 samples taken from 18 bottles inoculated into blood culture bottles. Four growths on agar plate culture were determined to be contaminants from the sampling process.

Conclusion
This study supports multiple-use bottled chlorhexidine solutions as safe and cost-effective in surgical practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • cost-benefit analysis
  • chlorhexidine
  • drug contamination
  • disinfection
  • humans
  • sampling studies

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