Wearing 2 sets of gloves cuts contamination
Results of a recent study indicate that when an anesthesiologist wears two sets of gloves during laryngoscopy and intubation and then removes the outer set immediately after intubation, the contamination of the intraoperative environment is dramatically reduced.1
The study was conducted in a simulated operating room.
Forty-one anesthesiology residents were enrolled in the study. When they entered the simulated operating room, the residents were asked to perform an anesthetic induction and tracheal intubation timed to approximately six minutes. They weren’t unaware of the study design. Of the 22 simulation sessions, 11 were conducted with the intubating resident wearing single gloves, and 11 were conducted with the intubating resident using double gloves with the outer pair removed after verified intubation.
Before the scenario, the researchers coated the lips and inside of the mouth of the mannequin with a fluorescent marking gel as a surrogate pathogen. After the simulation, an observer examined 40 sites using a handheld ultraviolet light to determine the transfer of surrogate pathogens to the patient and the patient’s environment.
The difference in the rate of contamination between anesthesiology residents who wore single gloves versus those with double gloves was clinically and statistically significant. The number of sites that were contaminated in the OR when the intubating resident wore single gloves was 20.3 +/- 1.4 (mean +/- SE); the number of contaminated sites when residents wore double gloves was 5.0 +/- 0 .7 (P < 0.001).