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AORN J. 2003 Apr;77(4):772-9.

A laboratory-based study to assess the performance of surgical gloves.

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University of Maryland School of Nursing and Medicine, Baltimore, USA.


The inherent tear resistance and elasticity of latex and the touch sensitivity it provides has made it the traditional material of choice for surgical gloves, protecting both health care workers and patients from the transmission of bloodborne infections. Although increased incidence of latex allergy has led to increased use of nonlatex surgical gloves, the effectiveness of these gloves as a barrier to infection has not been examined thoroughly. This laboratory-based study compared the performance of latex and nonlatex surgical gloves in a simulated stress protocol. The propensity of surgical gloves to fail was dependent on glove material, manufacturer, and stress. Nonlatex neoprene and nitrile gloves were comparable to latex and can provide a good alternative to latex for allergic patients and health care workers. In this study, isoprene was found to be inferior to latex and other nonlatex materials. The presence or absence of glove powder had no significant influence on the probability of glove failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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