Chapter 2: Table of Contents
Gloves provide a physical barrier between the skin of the surgeon and that of the patient. Studies have demonstrated that glove puncture is common during surgical procedures (over 10 to 18% of procedures, especially at the level of the thumb and index fingers) and especially in orthopedic surgery. Appropriate preoperative scrubbing is essential to reduce bacterial counts on the surgeon’s hands and can prevent bacterial contamination of the surgical site should glove puncture occur during surgery. This is especially true when hand scrub solutions with a residual activity such as chlorhexidine are used. Gloving should never be a substitute for proper preoperative hand scrubbing. Double gloving or extra thick gloves are sometimes worn during orthopedic procedures where glove puncture is more likely.
Covering the Gown Cuff:
The surgical gown wrist cuff must be covered by the gloves as it accumulates moisture and is considered unsterile after gloving is performed.