Blood exposure in single versus double gloving during pelvic surgery

Gabriel M. Cohn, David B. Seifer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


In light of continued reports suggesting the inadequacy of surgical gloves as sterile barriers, as well as an increasing number of reports describing intraoperative cross infections, a prospective study was performed comparing the presence of visible blood on the hands of surgeons wearing single or double gloves during 45 consecutive major obstetric and gynecologic operations. Single-gloved hands revealed the presence of visible blood in 38% of cases (n = 42) whereas visible blood was noted in only 2% of double-gloved hands (n = 48) (p < 0.001). These results demonstrate that the sterile barrier between surgeon and patient was compromised intraoperatively and that particles the size of red blood cells were able to cross this barrier. In addition, these data suggest single gloving may be less than optimal in maintaining a sterile barrier, as well as strongly suggesting that double gloving can improve the integrity of the patient-surgeon sterile barrier during pelvic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-717
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1990


  • Blood exposure
  • double gloving
  • pelvic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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