Title

Chlorhexidine Vaginal and Infant Wipes to Reduce Perinatal Mortality and Morbidity A Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Objective: To estimate the effects of chlorhexidine vaginal and baby wipes on fetal and neonatal mortality, respectively, and infection-related morbidity. Methods: We performed a placebo-controlled, randomized trial of chlorhexidine vaginal and neonatal wipes to reduce neonatal sepsis and mortality in three hospitals in Pakistan. The primary study outcome was a composite of neonatal sepsis or 7-day perinatal mortality. Results: From 2005 to 2008, 5,008 laboring women and their neonates were randomly assigned to receive either chlorhexidine wipes (n = 2,505) or wipes with a saline placebo (n = 2,503). The primary outcome was similar in the chlorhexidine and control groups (3.1% compared with 3.4%, relative risk 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.67-1.24) as was the composite rate of neonatal sepsis or 28-day perinatal mortality (3.8% compared with 3.9%, relative risk 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.73-1.27). At day 7, the chlorhexidine group had a lower rate of neonatal skin infection (3.3% compared with 8.2%, PConclusion: Using maternal chlorhexidine vaginal wipes during labor and neonatal chlorhexidine wipes does not reduce maternal and perinatal mortality or neonatal sepsis. The finding of reduced superficial skin infections on day 7 without change in sepsis or mortality suggests that this difference, although statistically significant, may not be of major importance.

Publication

Obstetrics and Gynecology