Wearing two surgical gloves significantly reduces infection risk to operating room personnel.2 The second glove helps protect against bloodborne pathogens when the outer glove is punctured.3
For relatively low cost, double-gloving helps provide a high level of protection. The interior glove reduces exposure to patient blood by as much as 87% when the outer glove is punctured.4
Double-gloving is recommended for invasive surgeries by the CDC5, OSHA6, AORN7, ACS8, AAOS9, ICS10 and WHO.11
Colored undergloves can help improve occupational safety. Research shows that most punctures are tiny and identified only after surgery, not at the time of the incident.12
Colored undergloves increased awareness of perforations to synthetic outer gloves from 12% to 56% and reduced time to awareness from 67 seconds to 42 seconds.13
Footnotes and references
1Tanner J, Parkinson H. Double gloving to reduce surgical cross-infection. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jul 19;(3):CD003087 2O A Arowolo et al. Safety of the surgeon: Double-Gloving during surgical procedures. SAJHIVMED December 2014, Vol. 15, No. 4. 3Berguer R, Heller PJ. Preventing sharps injuries in the operating room. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2004;199(3):462-467. 4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for prevention of surgical site infection, 1999. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, April 1999, 20(4):247-278. http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/ssiguidelines.pdf. Accessed November 2015. 5OSHA Technical Manual Section VI: Chapter 1. Hospital Investigations: Health Hazards. Available at https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vi/otm_vi_1.html. Accessed November 2015. 6AORN Guideline for Sterile Technique from 2015 Guidelines for Perioperative Practice. 7Statement on Sharps Safety. American College of Surgeons. October 2016. https://www.facs.org/about-acs/statements/94-sharps-safety. Accessed November 2015. 8“Information Statement 1018: Preventing the Transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens.” American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/oct13/clinical5.asp. Accessed November 2015. 9Leading the way in best Practice. International College of Surgeons. Available at: https://www.icsglobal.org/members/sections/mem_sect_news_europe.asp. Accessed November 2015. 10Glove Use Information Leaflet. World Health Organization. August 2009. Available at: http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Glove_Use_Information_Leaflet.pdf. Accessed November 2015. 11Thomas-Copeland, Do Surgical Personnel Really Need to Double-Glove? AORN Journal, FEBRUARY 2009, VOL 89, NO 2; page 327. 12Florman S, Burgdof M, Finigan K, Slakey D, Hewitt R, Nichols RL. Efficacy of double gloving with an intrinsic indicator system. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2005;6(4):385-395.