Glove Punctures in Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery: Frequency and Nature of Occurrence
Background: Glove punctures are a common occurrence in surgical practice and especially in orthopedic practice. Intact gloves protect members of the operating team from transmission of blood borne infections. Glove punctures however expose the members of the operating team to body fluids and increase the risk of these infections. With the prevalence of conditions such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, this study aims at determining the rate of and factors that determine glove perforations.
Methodology: Gloves were collected from consecutive orthopedic procedures, and were tested using the standardized water leak test The gloves were assessed for leaks and a control group of unused gloves from the same pack was tested similarly after each procedure.
Results: A glove perforation rate of 7.7% (119/1548) was found with operative perforation rate of 48.2%. The surgeons' glove was the most frequently perforated 19.3% (85/440). The Index finger and thumb were the most commonly perforated digits 70.8% and 15.6% of perforations respectively. The outer glove had a higher rate compared to inner glove 80.7% to 19.3% respectively. Surgeries lasting more than 90minutes were associated with more perforations (70.4%).
Conclusion: The use of double gloving techniques is advocated and a change of outer gloves for prolonged procedures is encouraged as this will reduce the risk of exposure.
Key Words: Glove, Punctures, Orthopedics, surgery.