Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) foam improves adherence, satisfaction, and maintains central line associated infection rates compared to CHG wipes in pediatric hematology-oncology and bone marrow transplant patients

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2022 Jul 15;1-13. doi: 10.1080/08880018.2022.2090644. Online ahead of print.


CHG-based hygiene methods are often a component of daily hygiene bundles to prevent central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) in pediatric hematology-oncology patients; however, adherence with 2% CHG wipes was inconsistent within our institution, risking infection for immunocompromised patients. A new 4% CHG foam method offers an alternative and is applied while bathing, as opposed to wipes used 1 h after bathing. An initial cohort of 24 high-risk oncology and bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients agreed to use 4% CHG foam in place of wipes, and then answered surveys to describe their experiences. Ninety-two percent preferred foam over wipes and were more likely to use the foam moving forward. CHG foam was then made available as an option to all patients in need of central line care upon admission to the hospital. Hygiene bundles in the electronic medical record were reviewed to measure baseline adherence rates. Random audits by nursing administration prospectively assessed CHG adherence. CLABSI data were collected prospectively with routine quality metric reports. Results were analyzed using run charts and u-charts, respectively. Hematology-Oncology unit adherence rates remained at a higher rate of adherence, and BMT unit adherence rates increased from an average of 55%-81.6% (p < 0.001). Primary CLABSIs remained rare events (average <1/1000 CVL days). On cost analysis, utilizing CHG foam results in an annual savings estimate of $40,000 for a 24-bed unit. In conclusion, 4% CHG foam provides a cost-effective and patient-preferred option for daily hygiene that maintains CLABSI preventative efforts.

Keywords: BMT; CLABSI; chlorhexidine gluconate; hygiene; pediatric oncology.