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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§ 9 Responses to Hand in gloves

  • rlbates says:

    My hands go numb when I double glove. Have tried several combinations. My prefered glove is brown, powder-free. Unfortunately, they have Latex so when I have a patient with a latex-allergy I have to wear “whatever non-latex” gloves are available.

  • sterileeye says:

    That’s an aspect I hadn’t thought of.

    Would you use double gloves if your hands didn’t go numb?

    As far as video goes, your brown gloves would do the trick!

  • rlbates says:

    Sterileeye–I might.

  • I ALWAYS double glove. I have even been known to triple glove. Must have powder free against my skin and my preferred outer glove is the thicker brown ortho glove. Like Ramona, latex free gloves are usually whatever is available. Unfortunately. I don’t know of any latex free glove brand that is functional, comfortable, and durable.

  • Triple gloving? That must be for orthopedics?

  • Actually, I double glove as routine universal precaution but I can’t help but add an extra glove when the patient is known HIV or Hep C.

  • […] submitted post with a limerick of it’s own. Here is his rhyme about my post Hand in gloves: This article sends out the love To surgeons who don double gloves. It’s not that it’s dumb But my […]

  • Curious says:

    Was wondering what type of gloves are used for double gloving. Do you have to wear specific types of gloves or can you just use any combination of surgical gloves

    • Øystein says:

      Several studies have shown that using indicator gloves, a colored inner glove and transparent outer glove, significantly increases the detection of perforations during surgery. If the outer glove is perforated, fluid seeps in between the two gloves, making the perforation visible as a dark stain.

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