Hand in gloves

April 17, 2008 § 9 Comments

Surgical gloves

Several studies have shown that wearing two pairs of surgical gloves offer more protection against perforations than single gloving. Wearing a pair of colored indicator gloves as inner gloves makes it much easier to detect glove perforation during surgery.

But it’s for entirely different reasons I like surgeons who double glove.

“No white on a TV set!”. That is the rule of thumb known to everyone working in television production. White reflects light and creates problems in lighting and exposing a scene. This is why you never see a TV presenter, or a politician for that matter, with a white shirt.

But in the OR, you often see surgeons with white gloves.

The video still above shows the hands of two surgeons. The surgeon on the left is wearing double gloves, the inner glove being a green indicator glove. The surgeon on the right wears one pair of regular white gloves. An equal amount of light falls on their hands, but the white glove appears much brighter than the double gloved hand.

The picture below is a snapshot from Final Cut Pro with excess luma (brightness) shown as green and pink zebra patterns. While the rest of the picture is exposed correctly, a large area of the white glove is overexposed. The glove reflects so much light that it exceeds the contrast range of the camera. It is called clipping. In this area picture information is lost. It is not possible to recover later. If both surgeons had worn indicator systems, the picture could be exposed correctly without any clipping and loss of picture information.

Surgical gloves - excess luma

Loss of patient is a bit more serious than loss of video information, you might argue. But there’s actually several studies that show no reduction in dexterity from double gloving.

So if for no other reason, put on a pair of indicators underneath your usual pair of gloves if your going on camera. Think of it as makeup.

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