Antimicrobial Applications for Prophylaxis in the Newborn Hexachlorophane

  • W. A. Gillespie
  • Beryl D. Corner
  • D. Burman
  • V. G. Alder
Part of the Chemotherapy book series (CT, volume 3)


In this paper we deal only with hexachlorophane, preparations of which have been applied to the skin of newborn infants for the past 25 years, to prevent staphylococcal infection (Farquharson et al., 1952). The value of hexachlorophane as a prophylactic became clear soon after its introduction, and reductions of sepsis were reported by several authors (Simpson et al., 1960; Corner et al., 1960; Gluck and Wood, 1961; Pleuckhahn and Banks, 1963). The extent of these reductions may not always be appreciated by younger doctors and nurses who do not remember the outbreaks of sepsis that sometimes resulted in closure of maternity hospital nurseries, with neonatal impetigo, abscesses and occasionally septicaemia in the infants, and breast abscesses in mothers. The low incidence of these infections in recent years may be partly attributable to earlier discharge from hospital and improved nursing; but undoubtedly much of the improvement was due to hexachlorophane. The prophylactic value of hexachlorophane was re-confirmed by the increases in staphylococcal sepsis recently reported when hexachlorophane was withdrawn from use (Ayliffe et al., 1972; Alexander and Pitkewicz, 1973; Dixon et al., 1973; De Souza et al., 1975).


Septic Lesion Staphylococcal Infection Normal Infant Young Doctor Breast Abscess 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. Gillespie
    • 1
  • Beryl D. Corner
    • 1
  • D. Burman
    • 1
  • V. G. Alder
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Bristol and Bristol Maternity HospitalBristolUK

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