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Antiseptics Commonly Used in Total Joint Arthroplasty Interact and May Form Toxic Products.

Campbell ST, Goodnough LH, Bennett CG, Giori NJ. Antiseptics Commonly Used in Total Joint Arthroplasty Interact and May Form Toxic Products. The Journal of arthroplasty. 2018 Mar 1; 33(3):844-846.

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BACKGROUND: Multiple antiseptics have been described for use in total joint arthroplasty infection, and the use of multiple antiseptic solutions during a single operation has been described. Our clinical experience is that chlorhexidine (CHX) and Dakin's solution (NaOCl) interact and form a precipitate. The purpose of this study is to determine whether this reaction could be replicated in a laboratory setting, and to determine if other commonly used antiseptics also visibly react when mixed. METHODS: Four percent chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX), 0.5% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), 3% hydrogen peroxide (HO), and 10% povidone-iodine (BTD) solutions were obtained and all possible combinations were mixed. Any visible reactions were noted and recorded, and a literature search was performed to characterize the reaction and products. RESULTS: CHX and NaOCl, CHX and HO, and CHX and BTD reacted instantly, forming a precipitate. NaOCl and HO reacted to produce a gas. NaOCl and BTD reacted and produced a color change. The literature review revealed that at least 2 of the reactions tested (CHX + NaOCl and NaOCl + HO) could result in byproducts toxic to humans. CONCLUSION: Surgeons must be aware of these interactions when using antiseptic solutions during procedures. Caution should be used combining or mixing antiseptics, and we recommend against concomitant introduction in a surgical wound.

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