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Open Badges Commentary

Topical honey: for bears, not for ICU catheters?

Jean-François Timsit

Author Affiliations

University Grenoble 1, Medical Polyvalent ICU; Albert Michallon University Hospital, 38000 Grenoble, Cedex 9, France

University Grenoble 1, U 823, Research tem 11: Outcome of airway cancers and critically ill patients

Critical Care 2012, 17:103-104  doi:10.1186/cc11900

See related research by Kwakman et al.,

Published: 15 January 2013


Catheters are most often colonized and become infected via the skin and their external surfaces in the ICU. Therefore, topical antimicrobials, including medical honey, placed at the insertion site should decrease skin colonization and catheter infections. This commentary reviews the main studies on, and the possible reasons of, topical antimicrobial failure in ICUs compared to the reported efficacy of chlorhexidine-impregnated dressings.