Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) 2% antimicrobial prep cloths
are used at AAMC for daily decolonization of the body in CCU, SCU and MSU3, and for an additional prepping of the Csection patients in L&D prior to going to the OR; some of our other surgical patients use them prior to being admitted for surgery. While extremely effective in reducing the microbial density of bacteria, these cloths are only to be used in these areas for these purposes.
Only staff in the above areas have been trained on the use of these cloths, which includes learning certain safety precautions in application. Also, the cloths are placed in a warmer designed only for these type of cloths, have a specific expiration timing, and may not be microwaved. I have recently heard a handful of reports of physicians ordering the use of the CHG cloths in areas not listed above and untrained persons obtaining cloths/ using microwaves in lieu of the warmers not available to them, both of which may carry potential safety issues to the patient. Policies regarding the use of CHG cloths include IC5.1.08 CHG decolonization bath, SNP15.2.05 Circulating for Cesarean delivery, and SNP 15.2.051 CHG cloths used for skin prep prior to Cesarean section surgery.
I have asked the central storage room/ Materiel Management to continue to restrict release of the CHG cloths to areas that are not part of this plan. Nursing staff have been told that they may not accommodate orders for the use of CHG cloths in areas other than CCU, SCU, MSU3, and L&D. We will continue to monitor for the need to expand this program, but for now the use of them is restricted to certain areas/purposes.
Thanks for the help. For questions, please contact: Anne R. Van Waes, RN, MS, CIC; Director, Infection Control; Anne Arundel Medical Center; 443-481-1591. (posted 3/21/12)