Occult glove perforations: Frequency during interventional radiologic procedures

M. E. Hansen, D. D. McIntire, G. L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Because the intact surgical glove is an important barrier against exposure to blood and other body fluids, occult glove perforations occurring during procedures may have implications for infection control and protection of health care workers. Although the frequency of occult glove perforations during surgery has been studied, no such data have been reported for interventional radiology. This study was designed to determine the frequency of occult glove perforations in interventional radiology. Gloves used during interventional radiologic procedures were collected and tested for occult perforations according to previously accepted methods. The frequency of occult defects in unused gloves was also determined. A form completed for each pair of gloves indicated length of use, awareness of perforations, and information about the procedure. The anatomic distribution of perforations was also studied. Occult perforations were found in 49 (10%) of 492 used gloves. The frequency of defects in unused gloves was 1% (2/160). Gloves worn fewer than 2 hr had a perforation rate of 7% (29/406), and those worn 2 hr or longer had a rate of 23% (20/86; p < .0001). Perforations were noticed by the wearer in only three (6%) of the 49 perforations. The perforation rate for inner gloves of a double-glove set was 3% (1/34; the corresponding outer glove also was perforated). Although the 10% rate of occult glove perforation during interventional radiologic procedures found in this series is lower than rates described with surgical procedures, it is not insignificant. The significant increase in the rate of perforation when gloves are worn more than 2 hr suggests that gloves should routinely be changed at or before 2 hr of wear, particularly in procedures involving high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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