Do Double Gloves Reduce the Risk of Intraoperative Blood Borne Infection?

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Chia-Wen Chuang, MSN, RN
Nursing, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan


Surgical teams rely on surgical gloves as a barrier to protect themselves against blood-borne pathogenic infections during surgery, but the perforation of gloves increases the risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens for the surgical team during surgery. However, the practice of wearing double gloves varies according to surgical specialties.The study aimed to prove that double-gloving, comparing to single-gloving, determine the reduction of incidence of blood borne infection.


Data collected from June 1 to August 31 in 2016. A total of six operation rooms and 400 pairs of gloves were collected from the Colon and Rectum Surgery and Orthopedics. There were twenty participants included in the study, and they are first surgeon, second or assistant surgeon, and scrub staff. All the gloves used in the study were Ansell latex powdered sterile surgical gloves. Fluorescent testing was used to observe visible blood on the hands of surgical team members, and air-inflation testing was used to detect the number of perforation of innermost gloves.


Glove perforations were detected in 11 of 141 single-gloving sets (7.8%), and 9 of 259 in the innermost gloves of double-gloving sets (3.47%). The most common site of perforation was in the left hand with 5 of 20 (25%). Single- gloving was used more prevalently to against blood borne infection of Colon and Rectum Surgery than the use of double- gloving of Orthopedics (16.9% vs. 2.7%). The perforations of innermost gloves were lowered after the intervention of double- gloving in Colon and Rectum Surgery (0.8%). We used fluorescent testing to check whether the hands of surgical team members contaminated with blood after remove gloves (0%).


This study proved that double-gloving, comparing to single-gloving, decreases effectively the risk of blood borne infection and the risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens. Until now, double-gloving has not been a common practice among the surgical team members. The results of the study can be extended in parallel to improve the quality of operation room. The use of double-gloving should be introduced as a routine practice.