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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(3):CD003087.

Double gloving to reduce surgical cross-infection.

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1
Health Care Studies, University of Leeds, Beckett Street, Leeds, UK, LS9 7TF.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The invasive nature of surgery, with its increased exposure to blood, means that during surgery there is a high risk of transfer of pathogens. Pathogens can be transferred through contact between surgical patients and the surgical team, resulting in post-operative or blood borne infections in patients or blood borne infections in the surgical team. Both patients and the surgical team need to be protected from this risk. This risk can be reduced by implementing protective barriers such as wearing surgical gloves. Wearing two pairs of surgical gloves, as opposed to one pair, is considered to provide an additional barrier and further reduce the risk of contamination.

OBJECTIVES:

The primary objective of this review was to determine if double gloving (wearing two pairs of gloves), rather than single gloving, reduces the number of post-operative or blood borne infections in surgical patients or blood borne infections in the surgical team. The secondary objective of this review was to determine if double gloving, rather than single gloving, reduces the number of perforations to the innermost pair of surgical gloves. The innermost gloves (next to skin) compared with the outermost gloves are considered to be the last barrier between the patient and the surgical team.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

The reviewers searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Trials Register, MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. Glove manufacturing companies and professional organisations were also contacted.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised controlled trials involving: single gloving, double gloving, glove liners or coloured puncture indicator systems.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Both reviewers independently assessed the relevance and quality of each trial. Trials to be included were cross checked and authenticated by both reviewers. Data was extracted by one reviewer and cross checked for accuracy by the second reviewer.

MAIN RESULTS:

Two trials were found which addressed the primary outcome. A total of 18 randomised controlled trials which measured glove perforations were identified and included in the review. DOUBLE GLOVING (wearing two pairs of latex gloves). Nine trials compared single latex gloves versus double latex gloves. These found no difference in the number of perforations between the single latex gloves and the outermost pair of the double latex gloves, but the number of perforations to the double latex-innermost glove was significantly reduced when two pairs of latex gloves were worn. ORTHOPAEDIC GLOVES (thicker than standard latex gloves). One trial compared single latex orthopaedic gloves with double latex gloves. This showed there was no difference in the number of perforations to the innermost gloves when wearing double latex gloves compared with a single pair of latex orthopaedic gloves. INDICATOR GLOVES (coloured latex gloves worn underneath latex gloves). Three trials compared double latex gloves versus double latex indicator gloves. These trials showed similar numbers of perforations to both the innermost and the outermost gloves for both gloving groups. Perforations to the outermost gloves were detected more easily when double latex indicator gloves were worn. Wearing double latex indicator gloves did not increase the detection of perforations to the innermost gloves. GLOVE LINERS (an insert worn between two pairs of latex gloves). Two trials compared double latex gloves versus double latex gloves with liners. These trials showed a significant reduction in the number of perforations to the innermost glove when a glove liner was worn between two pairs of latex gloves. CLOTH GLOVES (cloth gloves worn on top of latex gloves). Two trials compared double latex gloves versus latex inner with cloth outer gloves. These trials showed that wearing a cloth outer glove significantly reduced the number of perforations to the innermost latex glove. STEEL WEAVE GLOVES (steel weave gloves worn on top of latex gloves). One trial compared double latex gloves versus latex inner with steel weave outer gloves. This trial showed no reduction in the number of perforations to the innermost glove when wearing a steel weave outer glove.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

Wearing two pairs of latex gloves significantly reduces the number of perforations to the innermost glove. This evidence comes from trials undertaken in 'low risk' surgical specialties, that is specialties which did not include orthopaedic joint surgery. Wearing two pairs of latex gloves does not cause the glove wearer to sustain more perforations to their outermost glove. Wearing double latex indicator gloves enables the glove wearer to detect perforations to the outermost glove more easily than when wearing double latex gloves. However wearing a double latex indicator system will not assist with the detection of perforations to the innermost glove, nor reduce the number of perforations to either the outermost or the innermost glove. Wearing a glove liner between two pairs of latex gloves to undertake joint replacement surgery significantly reduces the number of perforations to the innermost glove compared with double latex gloves only. Wearing cloth outer gloves to undertake joint replacement surgery significantly reduces the number of perforations to the innermost glove compared with wearing double latex gloves. Wearing steel weave outer gloves to undertake joint replacement surgery does not reduce the number of perforations to innermost gloves compared with double latex gloves.

PMID:
12137673
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD003087
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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