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Skin antisepsis: using 2% chlorhexidine gluconate in 70% isopropyl alcohol.

British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing) (2008-03-26)
Sheila Inwood
ABSTRACT

The insertion of peripheral and central venous access devices carries a high risk of healthcare-associated infection. One of the main risks of this procedure is the introduction of microorganisms from the patient's own skin. To combat this, and to reduce the rates of healthcare-associated infection, effective skin antisepsis using 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) in 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) has been recommended by the epic2: National Evidence-Based Guidelines for Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections in NHS Hospitals in England (Pratt et al, 2007). This article discribes the introduction of 2% CHG in 70% IPA into the United Kingdom healthcare market and gives a discussion of the recommendations of epic2 (Pratt et al, 2007). The article identifies the correct use of 2%CHG 70% IPA solution, by detailing the variety of products and applications now available. It also clarifies their correct application and use to enable Trusts to provide a high standard of infection control and reduce healthcare-associated infection. It highlights the potential incorrect use of the available products due to cost pressures within the healthcare setting.

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