Published: 2016-12-19

Comparative study of chlorhexidine dressings versus simple gauze dressings in midline laparotomy wound

Jignesh A. Gandhi, Pravin H. Shinde, Alpana A. Awasthi, Rohan Digarse, Amit P. Kawle


Background: Wound infections are the most common complication of surgery that adds significantly to the morbidity of the patient and the cost of the treatment. Most of the surgical site infections are preventable. Dressing is an active element of wound management, designed to control infection and promote healing. This study was done to compare clinical efficacy of normal gauze dressings versus chlorhexidine dressings in midline laparotomy wounds.

Methods: Patients with midline laparotomy incision were randomized to receive either gauze or chlorhexidine dressings. Bacterial colonization, post- operative fever, frequency of infection, change of dressings, hospital stay and postoperative pain were assessed at the start of treatment and at weekly intervals until full healing occurred.

Results: A total of 128 patients were enrolled in the study and divided into 2 groups viz chlorhexidine group (Group A) and Simple gauze group (Group B) with 64 patients each. Wound cultures, change of antibiotics, post-operative soakage, median hospital stay duration, postoperative pain, post- operative wound infection, and follow up visits for wound healing were compared between two groups A and B and statistical significance established.

Conclusions: The analysis of wound culture, fever incidence and frequency of infection on Chlorhexidine dressings showed decreasing trends compared to traditional dressings.


Chlorhexidine dressings, Simple gauze dressings, Bacterial infection/ colonization, Healing, Pain

Full Text:



Subbarayappa BV. The roots of ancient medicine: an historical outline.J Biosci. 2001;26(2):135-43.

Okan D, Woo K, Ayelloea, Sibbaldr G. The role of moisture balance in wound healing. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2007;20:39-53.

Wound Source: Dressing - Gauzes & Non-wovens Assessed on: 5 Nov. 2015 Assessed from:

Wound source: Infected Wounds [Internet] Assessed on 5 Nov. 2015 Assessed from:

Smith & Nephew: Bactigras: Total Antiseptic Dressing [Internet] Canada. Assessed on: 1 Dec 2015. Assessed From:

Liu Z, Xiong Z, Wu J, Wang F. Clinical Curative Effect of Mesalt Combined with Mepilex Dressing in Postoperative Infection of Inguinal Hernia. Medical science monitor: International medical Journal of experimental and clinal research. 2015;21:1038.

Kerwat K, Eberhart L, Kerwat M, Horth D, Wulf H, Steinfeldt T. Chlorhexidine Gluconate Dressings Reduce Bacterial Colonisation Rates in Epidural and peripheral Regional Catheters. BioMed research international. 2015.

Tilsit JF, Schwebel C, Bouadma L, Geffroy A, Garrouste - Orgeas M, Pease S. Chlorhexidine-impregnated sponges and less frequent dressing changes for prevention of catheter - related infections in critically ill adults: A randomised controlled trial. Jama. 2009;301(12):1231-41.

Zywiel MG, Daley JA, Delanois RE, Naziri Q, Johnson AJ, Mont MA. Advance pre-operative chlorhexidine reduces the incidence of surgical site infections in knee arthroplasty. International orthopaedics. 2011;35(7):1001-6.

Safdar N, O’Horo JC, Ghufran A, Bearden A, Didier ME, Chateau D, et al. Chlorhexidine-impregnated dressing for prevention catheter-related bloodstream infection: a meta-analysis. Critical care medicine. 2014;42(7):1703.

Segers P, Speekenbrink RG, Ubbink DT, van Ostrop

ML, Bas A. Prevention of nosomval infection in cardiac surgery by decontamination of the nasopharynx and oropharynx with chlorhexidine gluconate: a randomised controlled trial.Jama. 2006;296(20):2460-6.

Bashetty K, Hegde J. Comparison of 2% chlorhexidine and 5.25% sodium hypocrite irrigating solutions on postoperative pain: a randomised clinical trial. Indian Journal of dental research. 2010;21(4):523.

Menakaya IN, Oderinu OH, Adegbulugbe IC, Shaba OP. Incidence of postoperative pain after use of calcium hydroxide mixed with normal saline or 0.2% chlordexidine digluconate as intracanal medicament in the treatment of apical periodontitis. The Saudi Dental Journal. 2015;27(4):187-93.

Drosou A, Falabella A, Kirsner RS. Antiseptics on wounds: an area of controversy. Wounds. 2003;15(5):149-66.