After ten total hip replacements in which a double-glove technique was used, 275 outer and inner gloves were tested for microbial contamination and for holes. The operating rooms were equipped with specially designed air-filtration mechanisms. The results indicated that the gloves that most frequently were contaminated were the ones used exclusively for draping. This finding suggests that using a separate pair of outer gloves only for draping is a valuable technique during total hip replacement.
Clinical relevance: Although the practice of using double gloves during a total joint-replacement procedure is accepted widely, there is little evidence that double-gloving actually decreases microbial contamination. The results of this study indicate that changing outer gloves at appropriate times during the procedure is indeed an important way to minimize contamination.