Does the Method of Sterile Glove-Opening Influence Back Table Contamination? A Fluorescent Particle Study.
BACKGROUND: Surgical site infections (SSI) may result from inadvertent intraoperative contamination events. This study investigated the method of opening surgical gloves onto the operative field (OF) and potential contamination rates. METHODS: Twenty surgical glove packets were coated with a commercially available fluorescent particle powder. Two methods of glove openings (10 surgical glove packets in each cohort) were investigated: direct drop (DD) onto the OF vs opening and direct hand-off (DH) to a sterile intermediary (SI). Ultraviolet black light was used to quantify fluorescent particles for dispensed glove packets and the OF in both cohorts. The gloves of the SI were inspected in the DH cohort. A previously used contamination scale for fluorescent particle model contamination was employed: 0: no detectable fluorescent particle specks, 1: 1-5 specks, 2: 5-10 specks, 3: 11-100 specks, 4: >100 specks. RESULTS: The DD cohort had a median OF contamination of 4 (range, 3-4) vs 3 for the DH trials (range, 1-3; P = .001). Likewise, the median glove contamination was higher in the DD cohort, 3 (range, 2-4) vs 1 for DH (range, 0-3; P = .007). Minimal contamination was found on the hands of the SI. Total fluorescent contamination rates, including the gloves of SI in the DH cohort, revealed greater overall contamination in DD (median, 3.5; range, 2-4) vs DH cohort (median, 1; range, 0-3); (P < .001). CONCLUSION: Using a fluorescent particle model, there is a greater burden of potential contamination from dispensed glove packets and OF with DD vs DH. The DH method did not show significant fluorescent particle contamination on the SI gloves. These data support the use of the opening of gloves via DH over the DD method in total joint arthroplasty to decrease the risk of potential contamination.
Holst, DC; Angerame, MR; Dennis, DA; Jennings, JM
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