Researchers from four VA Medical Centers and two non-VA hospitals have completed a 847 patient study on a more effective skin cleanser for surgical site sterilization. The study, conducted between April 2004 and May 2008, concluded that using a Chlorhexidine-alcohol solution, instead of the traditional povidone-iodine, lead to a 40% drop in surgical-site infections. A drop in the infection rate from 16.1% to 9.5% was observed. While the CDC has already recommended Chlorhexidine, there are no recommendations of the type of antiseptics that should be used on surgery patients.
The VA is continually running consensual clinical trials to advance treatments and procedures for patients.