Ayliffe, G.A.; Noy, M.F.; Babb, J.R.; Davies, J.G.; Jackson, J.
In a 60-week cross-over study on 5536 patients in 20 wards of three city hospitals (two general and one orthopaedic), pre-operative bathing with chlorhexidine-detergent failed to influence the incidence of postoperative infection, in spite of the relatively high incidence of infection with skin organisms. Of the patients bathing pre-operatively with chlorhexidine-detergent, 5.4 per cent subsequently became infected (4.0 per cent of clean wounds) and of those bathing with unmedicated soap 4.9 per cent (3.5 per cent of clean wounds). A single pre-operative bath with chlorhexidine-detergent would, therefore, appear to be of dubious value in preventing postoperative wound infection.Ayliffe, G.A. … [et al.]