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2021 | 93(1) | 9-14
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Do surgeons use double gloves during surgery? Results of a survey

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Introduction: The perforation of gloves during surgical procedures is quite common. A cheap and quite effective method of reducing the risk of blood-borne infections is wearing two pairs of gloves. Unfortunately, some surgeons are reluctant to it, and they report decreased dexterity and sensation. The aim of the study was to evaluate surgeons’ double-gloving practices to determine the factors related to compliance.
Material and methods: An anonymous, 21-question survey in Polish was sent by post to 41 surgical departments. The questions concerned: demographic data, type of surgical gloves used, allergy to latex, number of surgeries performed, frequency of using double gloves and negative impressions from using them and finally, the frequency of needlestick injuries during surgical procedures.
Results: We received 179 questionnaires back. More than 62% of the surgeons believe that double gloves provide better protection than a single pair, 24% do not believe in this, and 14% have no opinion. Only 0.6% of respondents always use double gloves during surgery, 19% double glove in at least 25% of cases and 68% do it occasionally. 13% of the surgeons declared that they had never worn double gloves. During high-risk procedures, 86% of respondents wear double gloves. About half of respondents (50.3%) report discomfort while wearing double gloves; 45% – decreased dexterity; about 30% complain of numbness and tingling; and 64% – decreased sensation.
Conclusion: Due to the high number of surgical glove perforations and relatively high prevalence of needlestick injuries, it is necessary to use methods that reduce the risk of transmission of pathogens. The habit of using a double pair of gloves should be implemented especially among young surgeons starting to train in their specialities. Consequently, the period of initial discomfort will be combined with the acquisition of surgical skills, which will allow for gradual acclimatization.
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