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J Hosp Infect. 2003 Feb;53(2):136-9.

Bacterial contamination of surgical gloves by water droplets spilt after scrubbing.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Bristol, Winford Unit, Avon Orthopaedic Centre, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK. jimbo@gnarly99.freeserve.co.uk

Abstract

Wound infection and deep sepsis can have disastrous consequences, particularly in orthopaedic surgery. Strict protocols, ultra-clean air, prophylactic antibiotics, and impervious gowns and drapes, have all been shown to diminish wound infection. However it remains a common and significant problem. The water droplets spilt from the surgeons hands after meticulous scrubbing with povidone iodine were cultured. The permeability of the surgical glove packaging to Gram-positive bacteria was also investigated. The water droplets from the surgeon's arms contained environmental and potentially pathogenic bacteria including a micrococcus, a coliform and coagulase-negative staphylococci. The paper packaging for the range of sterile surgical gloves tested was discovered to be permeable to Gram-positive bacteria. In conclusion accidental water droplet contamination of surgical gloves is a potential source of infection. Alternative recommendations are made.

PMID:
12586574
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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