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August 1966

A New Method for Detection of the Leaky GloveA Study on Incidence of Defective Gloves and Bacterial Growth From Surgeons' Hands

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha.

Arch Surg. 1966;93(2):245-249. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01330020037005

THE UBIQUITOUS bacteria on the surgeons' hands cannot be totally obliterated, even with the best of scrubbing technique.1-3 Thus, the only barrier between bacteria on the surgeons' hands and the wound is the intact surgical glove. Numerous authors have emphasized that defective gloves are the prime source for wound contamination in clean cases.4-6

How often do surgical gloves become defective? What growth is present on the hands of the average surgeon awaiting entrance into the wound when his gloves leak? The answers to these questions are the subject of this investigation.

Methods and Materials  Our first attack on the problem was to obtain an instrument capable of detecting glove defects not ordinarily visible to the surgeon. This equipment is shown in Fig 1, and the details of its wiring circuit are presented in Fig 2. The basic principle relies on the insulating properties of surgical gloves thereby preventing

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