Do Nonsterile Gloves Up the Risk of Infection in Minor Skin Surgery?

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Meta-analysis shows no increased relative risk
Meta-analysis shows no increased relative risk

(HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing outpatient cutaneous surgical procedures, use of nonsterile gloves is not associated with increased risk for surgical site infection (SSI), according to a review and meta-analysis published online Aug. 3 in JAMA Dermatology.

Jerry D. Brewer, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the rates of SSI with use of sterile and nonsterile gloves in outpatient cutaneous surgical procedures. Data were included from 14 studies with 12,275 unique patients who had undergone 12,275 unique outpatient procedures and had follow-up regarding SSI. One study with 1,204 patients was excluded from meta-analysis, leaving 13 studies with 11,071 patients.

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The researchers found that 2.1 percent of patients (228 patients) were documented as having postoperative SSI, including 2.1 percent in the nonsterile glove group and 2.0 percent in the sterile glove group. The overall relative risk was 1.06 for SSI with nonsterile glove use (95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.39).

"No difference was found in the rate of postoperative SSI between outpatient surgical procedures performed with sterile versus nonsterile gloves," the authors write.

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