Comparison of effects of alcohol, chlorhexidine cream, and iodophore cream on venous catheter-associated infections

Danchaivijitr, S.; Theeratharathorn, R.

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 72(Suppl 2): 39-43


ISSN/ISBN: 0125-2208
PMID: 2769131
Document Number: 3926
The effects of alcohol, chlorhexidine cream and iodophor cream on the infectious complications associated with intravenous catheters were studied. One hundred and fifty patients were randomly allocated into each antiseptic group. Daily cleansing and disinfecting the cut down wounds were done with the above antiseptics. Minor surgical wound infections were found in one patient in the alcohol and iodophor group compared to five in the chlorhexidine group. Phlebitis complicated four patients, two in the iodophor group and one in each of the remaining groups. Only one patient in the chlorhexidine group had septicaemia due to A. antitratus. Thirty-four catheter tips (22.7%) yielded bacteria on culture. Incidence of positive tip cultures was significantly higher in the chlorhexidine group than in the other two. The rates of positive tip cultures correlated with duration of catheterization. It is concluded that alcohol is the antiseptic of choice for cut down wounds. Application of antiseptic cream to the wounds was less effective than alcohol and this practice should be discouraged.

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