As hospitals strive to prevent hospital-acquired infections, the use of daily chlorhexidine bathing has grown in popularity. The wide adoption of chlorhexidine bathing has been spurred by several quasi-experimental studies showing its benefit for preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and reducing the acquisition of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).

An editorial published on Medscape challenges the effectiveness of chlorhexidine bathing and says the uncertain benefits of chlorhexidine must be weighed against its theoretical risks. “Hospitals that are planning to implement widespread chlorhexidine bathing should think carefully before proceeding” the authors write.