Sodium hypochlorite disinfection to prevent infection in hospitals

Added June 15, 2020

Citation: Pereira SS, Oliveira HM, Turrini RN, Lacerda RA. Disinfection with sodium hypochlorite in hospital environmental surfaces in the reduction of contamination and infection prevention: a systematic review. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP. 2015 Aug;49(4):681-8.

Language: English (also available in Portuguese)

What is this? Infection prevention and control interventions are especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sodium hypochlorite is used as a disinfectant to reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies that compared the effects of sodium hypochlorite with those other disinfectant products or different concentrations of hypochlorite on the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. They did not restrict their search by date, type or language of publication and did their latest search in February 2014.  They included 14 controlled trials.

What works:  Sodium hypochlorite was effective at inhibiting microorganism growth in most studies.

Some studies reported reduced infection, resistance and colonization rates of microorganisms with the use of sodium hypochlorite.

Sodium hypochlorite was as effective or more effective to other products in most studies but contradictory results were noted when compared with hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine.

What doesn’t work:  Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: The direct effect of sodium hypochlorite on the transmission of hospital-acquired infections is unclear.


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