Modified gloves: A chance for the prevention of nosocomial infections

Am J Infect Control. 2018 Mar;46(3):266-269. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2017.08.024. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Background: Non-sterile gloves primarily serve as a barrier protection for health care workers (HCWs). However, pathogens may often contaminate the skin of HCWs during glove removal; therefore, pathogens may be further transmitted and cause nosocomial infections.

Methods: A field study was conducted comparing contamination rates when using standard gloves or a new modified product equipped with an additional flap (doffing aid) for easier removal. Gloves were removed after bathing gloved hands in an artificial fluorescent lotion. The number of contamination spots was then visually examined using ultraviolet light.

Results: There were 317 individuals who participated in this study: 146 participants (104 nurses and 42 physicians) used standard gloves, whereas 171 participants (118 nurses and 53 physicians) used the modified product. Use of the modified gloves instead of the standard product (15.8% vs 73.3%, respectively; P < .001) and being a physician rather than a nurse (29.5% vs 47.7%, respectively; P = .003) were the only independent risk factors for reduction of contamination.

Conclusions: This study shows that the modified product could, at least in vitro, significantly reduce the rate of hand and wrist contamination during removal compared with standard gloves. By this, it may significantly improve the overall quality of patient care when used on the wards directly at the patient's site.

Keywords: Examination gloves; Infection prevention; Skin contamination.

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Gloves, Protective*
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Nurses*
  • Physicians*