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June/July 2014 (vol. 11/1)

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Research Plus

Double gloving works!

There is moderate quality evidence that wearing a double, rather than single layer of standard surgical gloves significantly reduces risk of glove perforation during clinical practice (rate ratio (RR) = 0.29; CI 0.23–0.37). This Cochrane systematic review included 34 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), covering 6,890 person-operations. All the RCTs included surgeons, with 27 also involving other surgical staff (eg nurses); control group participants all wore single layers of standard surgical gloves. There is low quality evidence that triple compared with single gloving reduces the risk of perforations by 97% (RR = 0.03; CI 0.00–0.52). Indicator gloves (coloured inner gloves that show through if the outer one is penetrated) do not reduce the total number of perforations during an operation (RR = 0.72; CI 0.36–1.42) but do reduce the number of perforations per glove (RR = 0.09; CI 0.03–0.29) – moderate quality evidence. There is no advantage in using thicker compared with standard gloves (RR = 0.63; CI 0.37–1.08) – low quality evidence. Perforation risk is reduced by 76% by wearing double gloves comprising one standard and one fabric glove, compared with two standard gloves (RR = 0.24; CI 0.06–0.93) – low quality evidence.

Gloves, extra gloves or special types of gloves for preventing percutaneous exposure injuries in healthcare personnel. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014; 3:CD009573. March 2014.


Occupational Health at Work June/July 2014 (vol. 11/1) pp43