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Post-Op Infections: Does The Type of Glove Matter?

The use of surgical gloves is standard practice to prevent post- operative wound infections or surgical site infection (SSI), but does the type of glove used for outpatient surgical procedures make any difference? Previous studies have looked at procedures such as Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) or outpatient dental surgeries, and found that sterile vs. nonsterile gloves do not make a difference in SSI. A recent study reported results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of nonsterile vs. sterile gloves on postoperative SSI rates. The authors state that given the many outpatient minor and cutaneous surgical procedures that occur worldwide and the large cost difference between these different glove types, knowing the degree to which the type of glove affects outcome is critical. The review examined 14 articles that included a total of 12,275 unique patients who had undergone 12,275 unique outpatient procedures with sterile or nonsterile gloves and had follow-up regarding SSI. Based on the data, the authors conclude that there is no difference in the rates of postoperative SSIs when comparing sterile vs. nonsterile gloves in the setting of outpatient minor surgery. The authors note that more extensive surgery or complicated repairs may have a higher risk for SSI, however, ample evidence suggests that, in general, nonsterile gloves do not influence the chances of postoperative SSI in outpatient surgical procedures. They conclude that given the cost difference between these gloves, these findings could have a significant effect on and implications for current practice standards.


Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C

Posted: October 24, 2016

Source: JAMA Dermtology
Adapted from the original article.

[Image: DermNet New Zealand]

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