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