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Antiseptic agent cuts pneumonia risk

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Oral decontamination with the antiseptic agent chlorhexidine can reduce the risk of pneumonia among patients on mechanical ventilation, according to Dutch researchers.

Oral decontamination with the antiseptic agent chlorhexidine can reduce the risk of pneumonia among patients on mechanical ventilation, according to Dutch researchers.

They studied 385 patients with a mean age of 62 who needed mechanical ventilation for at least 48 hours. Ventilators were cleaned four times a day with a paste containing either chlorhexidine, chlorhexidine plus colistin or placebo.

The authors found ventilator associated pneumonia occurred in 10% of those in the chlorhexidine group, 13% of the combination group and 18% of the placebo group.

Evidence Based Nursing (2007) 10: 19

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