Dr. Oliver: Quoted from the studies conducted at Ohio State in 1954-55 in which hexachlorophene bath gave a striking reduction in colonization with staph in the umbilicus and nares. No special attention was given to cleansing of the umbilical cord. In Pittsburgh, he noted high colonization rates which fell from 40% to almost zero, when hexachlorophene bathing was employed, supporting Dr. Gezon's findings.
Moderator: In Dr. Gezon's paper he stated that after studying hexachlorophene he felt he should look for some other agent to suppress colonization of staph. Was this because he had worries about hexachlorophene?
Dr. Gezon: Replied that he assumed that hexachlorophene resistance might occur. Perhaps it can, he stated, but there is no evidence of such resistance.
Dr. Gluck: Discussed his experience at Stanford with 5,500 newborn infants. He found that with hexachlorophene bathing one of every 70 babies was colonized with staph. He paid great attention to the washing of the cord, feeling that this is the most important reservoir for staph. When he moved to Yale, newborn infants received water baths only. Skin pustules were always endemic but there was no fulminating staph epidemic. The colonization rate, which was 30% before hexachlorophene bathing was instituted, dropped to 3%. When hexachlorophene was discontinued, the rate rose again to 30%. He feels strongly that hexachlorophene is very effective in reducing colonization by staph. He pointed to his New Haven study as an indicator of the benefits gained by having a newborn go home without colonization by staph.