Problem Or Issue:
The use of chlorhexidine-containing devices has recently been associated with
- Serious but rare anaphylactic reactions due to chlorhexidine allergy.
- Severe chemical injury and burns in premature infants.
Examples of medical devices which may contain chlorhexidine include:
- wash cloths, vascular access site dressings, antimicrobial dressings;
- urinary catheters, central venous catheters (CVC), peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICC lines), needless IV connectors;
- eye drops, contact lens solution, lubricating gels, bladder irrigation solutions;
Many of these products are available over the counter. Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic and disinfectant that is active against broad spectrum bacteria including MRSA, viruses and fungi.