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.
Copyright 2003 The Hospital Infection Society