Universal ICU Decolonization: An Enhanced Protocol

Appendix G. Safety and Adverse Events

Chlorhexidine (CHG) Risk

The risks associated with the use of chlorhexidine (CHG) include mild side effects of skin irritation, rash, and/or redness (unlikely) and severe allergic reactions of hives, itching. In rare case reports, anaphylaxis can occur (difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue), but it has occurred so rarely that the actual risk cannot be calculated (too rare). It is important to keep the CHG out of eyes and ears. CHG can cause permanent injury if it comes in direct contact with nerves and is allowed to remain there. For example, this may occur if CHG enters the ear canal and the patient has a perforated (punctured) eardrum. If CHG enters the patient’s eyes or ears, it is important to rinse promptly and thoroughly with water.

Nasal Mupirocin Risk

The risks associated with use of nasal mupirocin include mild side effects of burning, change in sense of taste, congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, stinging, and/or stuffy nose (unlikely).

Page last reviewed September 2013
Internet Citation: Universal ICU Decolonization: An Enhanced Protocol: Appendix G. Safety and Adverse Events. September 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/universal_icu_decolonization/universal-icu-apg.html