Effectiveness of Chlorhexidine oral decontamination in reducing the incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia: A meta-analysis.

British Journal of Medical Practitioners, 05/07/2012

The safety profile regarding the possible selection and induction of antibiotic resistance and presumed cost benefits of Chlorhexidine make it a highly attractive intervention for the prevention of Ventilator–associated pneumonia (VAP). This meta–analysis indicated that chlorhexidine can serve as a cost–effective and safe antiseptic in preventing VAP in mechanically ventilated patients.


  • An extensive literaturereview was conducted using the following databases: CINAHL, MEDLINE, Joanna Briggs Institute, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and the Google search engine.
  • Retrieved articles were selected based on the methodological quality, inclusion criteria and analysed to find the pooled effect size.


  • The nine trials included in this meta–analysis revealed a significant reduction in the incidence of VAP among patients who received prophylactic oral decontamination with Chlorhexidine.
  • However no significant effect was found in reducing overall mortality rate among the mechanically ventilated patients.

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