Surgical glove perforation

Br J Surg. 1988 Oct;75(10):966-8. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800751009.


In a study to investigate the incidence and significance of surgical glove perforation, bacterial contamination of surgeons' hands and gloves before and after operation was measured and the gloves tested for damage. Perforations were found in 74 of 582 gloves (12.7 per cent) and occurred in 34.5 per cent of operations. Glove perforation did not influence bacterial counts on the surgeons' hands or on the outside of their gloves. A separate clinical study of 100 adult hernia repairs gave no evidence that perforation increased wound sepsis. After standard pre-operative hand preparation, glove perforations are of no clinical significance to the patient, but their high incidence should alert surgeons to the need for protection against pathogens transmissible during surgery, such as hepatitis B and the human immunodeficiency virus. Protection of the surgeon is the main indication for preoperative change of damaged gloves.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Contamination*
  • Equipment Failure*
  • Gloves, Surgical*
  • Hand / microbiology
  • Hand Disinfection
  • Humans
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / microbiology*