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Am J Surg. 1996 Nov;172(5):512-6; discussion 516-7.

Influence of blunt needles on surgical glove perforation and safety for the surgeon.

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  • 11st Department of Surgery, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.



Round-tipped blunt needle (BN) may decrease the risk of needlestick injuries and hand contamination. We prospectively determined the incidence of glove perforations in emergency abdominal procedures and the efficacy of BN in increasing the safety for surgeons.


Two hundred patients were randomized to undergo closure of the abdominal fascia using sharp needle (SN) or BN. Gloves were tested at the end of the procedure.


Surgeons had 14 needlestick injuries and 76 perforations recorded in 69 pair of gloves. Sharp needles were responsible for all injuries and 58 (76%) perforations (P < 0.00004 and P < 0.00001, respectively). This difference was still higher when considering the perforations related to the abdominal fascia closure (BN 7% versus SN 50%; P < 0.0006).


The risk of glove perforation is sevenfold greater if SN are used. Blunt needles reduce sharp injuries and improve safety for surgeons.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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