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AORN J. 2010 Nov;92(5):519-27. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2010.06.016.

Prevention of transmissible infections in the perioperative setting.

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Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Risk of infection from bloodborne pathogens makes it imperative for surgical team members to detect surgical glove punctures before skin contact with pathogens occurs. The use of a second, colored pair of gloves worn by scrubbed team members during surgical procedures provides an early indicator of an outer glove puncture while the primary glove or underglove remains intact. This practice reduces the risk of occupational exposures for health care workers and the risk of surgical site infections for patients. We conducted a quality improvement project during which we randomly observed staff members for compliance with double gloving in the OR at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during a 12-month period, and we conducted a review of sharps injuries for a 45-month period after intensive education about sharps injuries and use of a hands-free neutral zone technique. We found that when staff members were compliant with double-gloving techniques, there was a decrease in skin contact breaches, and the use of a hands-free neutral zone technique decreased the rate of sharps injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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