Chlorhexidine for neonates

Use of Chlorhexidine for skin cleansing in neonates

I am very pleased to announce the publication of this latest position statement produced by the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacist Group (NPPG) and endorsed by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) regarding use of chlorhexidine for skin cleansing in neonates.

These position statements aim to help provide clarity where there is a known variation in practice and / or where evidence for use is limited. This particular position statement aims to provide a pragmatic approach for the use of chlorhexidine in neonates based on ensuring that the chlorhexidine product will be effective, but also providing safety for extremely premature neonates.

We hope that this position statement allows organisations to review their practice and provides a consistency in approach when using chlorhexidine in neonates. We would also welcome pharmaceutical manufacturers developing a licensed preparation of chlorhexidine 0.5% aqueous solution, where only an unlicensed preparation is currently available.

Nigel Gooding,Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacist Group Chair

Update April 2022: Now available from NHS Scotland Pharmaceutical Specials Service as a sterile 10ml clear solution in an amber screw cap bottle

Position Statement