The following article features coverage from the 46th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Standardizing a daily chlorhexidine (CHG) wipe into blood draw sessions may decrease risk for central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) among patients in acute care units. These findings were presented in a poster during the 46th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress.

Daily CHG baths are proven to reduce CLABSIs and are a standard practice in the intensive care unit. However, the practice is not standard in acute care units. A 30-day pilot program was initiated at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University to determine the effectiveness of the practice in acute care units.

Nurses were instructed to perform a CHG wipe of the central line and surrounding area during the morning blood draw (between 03:00 and 04:00) and to assess the line at that time. Daily audits occurred to assess compliance with the new protocol, and noncompliant staff received education about the new protocol and risk for CLABSIs. Patients were instructed to maintain daily bathing practices in addition to the CHG wipe.

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During the pilot program, 95% of patients had a CHG wipe during their morning blood draw. Compliance with CHG wiping among staff was 77.5%.

No cases of CLABSI were detected during the program or up to 3 months after the pilot program.

Staff indicated the morning wipe did not increase time of lab draw. No patients reported concerns or complaints about being disturbed early in the morning.

This study was limited by its single center design, and these findings should be replicable in other care settings.

These data suggested that implementing guidelines for daily CHG wipes of central lines in patients in the acute care ward reduced the risk for CLABSIs without increasing the time nurses spent on the morning blood draw or inconveniencing patients.

Read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s coverage of the 46th Annual ONS Congress by visiting the conference page.


Martinovich J, Beaver C, Suh J. Standardization of CHG wipe for inpatients with a central line outside of an ICU setting. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2021;48(2):abstr 9192.