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Int Orthop. 2004 Feb;28(1):36-9. Epub 2003 Oct 8.

Glove punctures in orthopaedic surgery.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Hong Kong, Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital, 4/F Medical Officers' Room, Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay, Hong Kong S.A.R., Peoples' Republic of China.


From February 2001 to May 2001, 792 latex gloves used in 100 operations from three orthopaedic sub-specialties (paediatrics, hand and spine) were tested for puncture by a water infusion test. Sixty-nine gloves from 45 operations were punctured, giving an overall glove perforation rate of 8.7% (69/792) and an operative perforation rate of 45% (45/100). The hand operations had the lowest operative perforation rate (19.4%) while the spine operations had the highest (63.6%). The glove perforation rate increased in bony procedures (60% versus 22.5%), in procedures with major instrumentation (66% versus 18%) and in more lengthy procedures. The thumbs and the left index finger had more punctures than other parts. In addition, the glove perforation rate for single gloving was 9.6% (53/552) while that for the inner glove of double gloving was 0.8% (1/120). Based on these findings, we would like to recommend double gloving and regular glove changing in these high-risk surgeries.

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