To the Editor.
—The study by Wright et al1 should command widespread attention. However, further analysis is warranted. In their definition of "tears" they include what are usually described as "holes."2 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials accept a current quality level of 1.5% for holesby a 1000-mL water test. Thus, some of the barrier breaches found by Wright et al might have been present in the new unused gloves. Pate3 has recently reported that 5% to 81% of gloves contain holes after each of 50 coronary bypass operations. This includes any holes existing preoperatively.In the series of Wright et al, assuming that there were three potentially vulnerable persons at each of the 2292 operations each wearing two gloves means that at least 13 752 gloves would be at risk. They discovered, by the presence of a bloody spot
Beck WC. Glove Tears and Sharp Injuries in Surgical Personnel. JAMA. 1992;267(7):934. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480070050026