Evaluation of surgical glove integrity and factors associated with glove defect

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Abstract

Background:

Surgical glove perforation may expose both patients and staff members to severe complications. This study aimed to determine surgical glove perforation rate and the factors associated with glove defect.

Material and methods:

This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted between January and March 2017 at a Tunisian university hospital center in 3 different surgical departments: urology, maxillofacial, and general and digestive. The gloves were collected and tested to detect perforations using the water-leak test as described in European Norm NF EN 455-1. For percentage comparisons, the χ2 test was used with a significance threshold of 5%.

Results:

A total of 284 gloves were collected. Of these, 47 were found to be perforated, a rate of 16.5%. All perforations were unnoticed by the surgical team members. The majority of perforated gloves (61.7%) were collected after urology procedures (P = .00005), 77% of perforated gloves were detected when the duration of the procedure exceeded 90 minutes (P = .001), and 96% were from brand A, which were the thicker gloves (P = .015).

Conclusions:

This study highlighted an important problem neglected by surgical teams. The findings reaffirm the importance of double-gloving and changing gloves in surgeries of more than 90 minutes' duration.

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