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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Skin antisepsis for reducing central venous catheter-related infections

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (81st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
1 blog
1 policy source
31 tweeters
4 Facebook pages
2 Wikipedia pages


62 Dimensions

Readers on

431 Mendeley
Skin antisepsis for reducing central venous catheter-related infections
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010140.pub2
Pubmed ID

Nai Ming Lai, Nai An Lai, Elizabeth O'Riordan, Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, Jacqueline E Taylor, Kenneth Tan


The central venous catheter (CVC) is a device used for many functions, including monitoring haemodynamic indicators and administering intravenous medications, fluids, blood products and parenteral nutrition. However, as a foreign object, it is susceptible to colonisation by micro-organisms, which may lead to catheter-related blood stream infection (BSI) and in turn, increased mortality, morbidities and health care costs. To assess the effects of skin antisepsis as part of CVC care for reducing catheter-related BSIs, catheter colonisation, and patient mortality and morbidities. In May 2016 we searched: The Cochrane Wounds Specialised Register; The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library); Ovid MEDLINE (including In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations and Epub Ahead of Print); Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL Plus. We also searched clinical trial registries for ongoing and unpublished studies. There were no restrictions with respect to language, date of publication or study setting. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed any type of skin antiseptic agent used either alone or in combination, compared with one or more other skin antiseptic agent(s), placebo or no skin antisepsis in patients with a CVC in place. Two authors independently assessed the studies for their eligibility, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. We expressed our results in terms of risk ratio (RR), absolute risk reduction (ARR) and number need to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) for dichotomous data, and mean difference (MD) for continuous data, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Thirteen studies were eligible for inclusion, but only 12 studies contributed data, with a total of 3446 CVCs assessed. The total number of participants enrolled was unclear as some studies did not provide such information. The participants were mainly adults admitted to intensive care units, haematology oncology units or general wards. Most studies assessed skin antisepsis prior to insertion and regularly thereafter during the in-dwelling period of the CVC, ranging from every 24 h to every 72 h. The methodological quality of the included studies was mixed due to wide variation in their risk of bias. Most trials did not adequately blind the participants or personnel, and four of the 12 studies had a high risk of bias for incomplete outcome data.Three studies compared different antisepsis regimens with no antisepsis. There was no clear evidence of a difference in all outcomes examined, including catheter-related BSI, septicaemia, catheter colonisation and number of patients who required systemic antibiotics for any of the three comparisons involving three different antisepsis regimens (aqueous povidone-iodine, aqueous chlorhexidine and alcohol compared with no skin antisepsis). However, there were great uncertainties in all estimates due to underpowered analyses and the overall very low quality of evidence presented.There were multiple head-to-head comparisons between different skin antiseptic agents, with different combinations of active substance and base solutions. The most frequent comparison was chlorhexidine solution versus povidone-iodine solution (any base). There was very low quality evidence (downgraded for risk of bias and imprecision) that chlorhexidine may reduce catheter-related BSI compared with povidone-iodine (RR of 0.64, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.99; ARR 2.30%, 95% CI 0.06 to 3.70%). This evidence came from four studies involving 1436 catheters. None of the individual subgroup comparisons of aqueous chlorhexidine versus aqueous povidone-iodine, alcoholic chlorhexidine versus aqueous povidone-iodine and alcoholic chlorhexidine versus alcoholic povidone-iodine showed clear differences for catheter-related BSI or mortality (and were generally underpowered). Mortality was only reported in a single study.There was very low quality evidence that skin antisepsis with chlorhexidine may also reduce catheter colonisation relative to povidone-iodine (RR of 0.68, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.84; ARR 8%, 95% CI 3% to 12%; ; five studies, 1533 catheters, downgraded for risk of bias, indirectness and inconsistency).Evaluations of other skin antiseptic agents were generally in single, small studies, many of which did not report the primary outcome of catheter-related BSI. Trials also poorly reported other outcomes, such as skin infections and adverse events. It is not clear whether cleaning the skin around CVC insertion sites with antiseptic reduces catheter related blood stream infection compared with no skin cleansing. Skin cleansing with chlorhexidine solution may reduce rates of CRBSI and catheter colonisation compared with cleaning with povidone iodine. These results are based on very low quality evidence, which means the true effects may be very different. Moreover these results may be influenced by the nature of the antiseptic solution (i.e. aqueous or alcohol-based). Further RCTs are needed to assess the effectiveness and safety of different skin antisepsis regimens in CVC care; these should measure and report critical clinical outcomes such as sepsis, catheter-related BSI and mortality.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 31 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 431 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 427 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 67 16%
Student > Bachelor 55 13%
Researcher 39 9%
Student > Postgraduate 31 7%
Other 28 6%
Other 81 19%
Unknown 130 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 137 32%
Nursing and Health Professions 91 21%
Social Sciences 10 2%
Psychology 9 2%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 7 2%
Other 45 10%
Unknown 132 31%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 43. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 September 2022.
All research outputs
of 23,368,819 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,645 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 356,598 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 225 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 23,368,819 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,645 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 33.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 356,598 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 225 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.