Study: Surgical Gloves Before Surgical Gown Decreases Infection Risk

A study conducted by members of Duke University Medical Center's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery showed that putting on surgical gloves before putting on a surgical gown has a significant impact on sleeve contamination.

The study, which was published in The Journal of Arthroplasty, compared the differences in gown contamination between three different gown and glove donning techniques. The participants — Duke surgeons of varying experience levels — covered their hands with ultraviolet light disclosing lotion and then put on surgical gown and gloves using their preferred technique and the proposed technique in a randomly assigned order. Gowns were removed and analyzed under ultraviolet light for distance and quantity of sleeve contamination.

The finding: Gloving first demonstrated zero contamination in all samples, which researchers said was significantly less than both closed and open staff-assisted techniques.

The researchers' conclusions include the following: "We strongly recommend considering the use of this glove and gown donning technique as opposed to the currently accepted closed and open techniques in an effort to reduce gown contamination."

Speaking to Orthopedics This Week, Colin Penrose, MD, Duke University Medical Center orthopedic surgery resident and co-author, said, "Something so simple as putting on gloves, and it is easy to learn this new technique, could potentially have a significant positive impact on the surgical outcome."