Infection risk analysis of orthopaedic surgical team Double glove cuff interface moisture


surgical gloves ; sterile technique ; infection risk ; bacterial culture

Published online: May 29 2020

Jonathan Spanyer, Andrew Harston, Harrison Lands, John Nyland, Craig Roberts

From the University of Louisville Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, United States


Moisture droplets can accumulate at the paired surgical glove interface during long-duration orthopaedic surgery cases. The sterility of this moisture is unknown. This prospective study at an urban university-based level I trauma center
analyzed moisture droplets sampled from the double glove cuff interface for bacterial contamination.

Moisture droplet samples were collected from 15 unique orthopedic surgery team members during 15 non-contaminated surgeries of ≥ one-hour duration.

After ≥ 72 hours incubation (32° C), all negative controls (opened, unused sterile gloves in operating room environment) displayed no bacterial growth.

All positive controls (unwashed surgeon wrists) displayed bacterial growth. All samples collected from beneath the outer cuff of the double glove cuff interface were also negative for bacterial growth.

Moisture that accumulates at the paired surgical glove interface during orthopaedic surgery cases is not a source of bacterial contamination.