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General Orthopaedics

Glove perforation and contamination in primary total hip arthroplasty

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We conducted a randomised, controlled trial to determine whether changing gloves at specified intervals can reduce the incidence of glove perforation and contamination in total hip arthroplasty. A total of 50 patients were included in the study. In the study group (25 patients), gloves were changed at 20-minute intervals or prior to cementation. In the control group (25 patients), gloves were changed prior to cementation. In addition, gloves were changed in both groups whenever there was a visible puncture. Only outer gloves were investigated.

Contamination was tested by impression of gloved fingers on blood agar and culture plates were subsequently incubated at 37°C for 48 hours. The number of colonies and types of organisms were recorded. Glove perforation was assessed using the water test. The incidence of perforation and contamination was significantly lower in the study group compared with the control group. Changing gloves at regular intervals is an effective way to decrease the incidence of glove perforation and bacterial contamination during total hip arthroplasty.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr A. Al-Maiyah c/o Mr Ports’ secretary, Orthopaedic department (Ward 33), James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW, UK; e-mail: mamaiyah@yahoo.co.uk

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