7 things to know about glove perforation rates during orthopedic trauma surgery

Written by Shayna Korol | January 10, 2019 | Print  |

Surgical glove microperforation often goes undetected during orthopedic trauma procedures, according to results of a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.

Seven things to know:

1. Four investigators performed six high-risk surgical maneuvers in a simulated laboratory setting. Surgeons also performed alternative techniques for most maneuvers, and researchers examined glove integrity using two standard fluid leak testing methods.

2. Investigators only identified 14.3 percent of perforations. Cleaning drill bit flutes by hand had an 85 percent tear rate, the highest overall.

3. Catching a glove along the guide wire when passing a cannulated drill bit resulted in a 50 percent perforation rate.

4. Catching a glove around a rotating drill shaft had a tear rate of 40 percent.

5. Palpating the end of a flexible nail cut with a wire cutter had a 35 percent perforation rate, compared to a 5 percent perforation rate from a nail cut with a nail-specific tool.

6. Surgeons inserting screws while stabilizing the threads with their fingers resulted in a perforation rate of 15 percent.

7. Orthopedic surgeons should consider using alternative techniques when performing certain surgical maneuvers, according to the study authors. They concluded the study results can be used by orthopedic and surgical first-assist training programs to promote safe practice.

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