The Cochrane review: Proof to back it up
When talking to healthcare professionals about prevention strategies, double gloving is our most important message. You can see why from these important findings in the Cochrane Collaboration's systematic review of double gloving4.
The Cochrane review and the subsequent repeated review aimed to:
- determine whether there is a clinically significant difference in using extra gloves for preventing needlestick injuries during surgery
- evaluate whether double gloving has a negative impact on the healthcare professional's hand skills (dexterity)
- discover whether additional glove protection reduces the number of underglove perforations
- Thirty-one randomized controlled trials measuring glove perforations were included. Increasing numbers of glove layers (single, double, triple) were evaluated.
- First review compared single gloving, double gloving and coloured puncture-indicating systems; second review added four additional gloving methods (glove liner, cloth overgloves, steel-weave overgloves and triple gloves)
- Risk was determined through the measurement of perforations and self-reported needlestick injuries. Dexterity was measured via self-reporting and perforation rate.
Single versus double gloving: 11 percent of gloves perforated using single gloves; 3 percent perforated with double gloving.
Puncture detection proved to be significantly improved for Biogel Puncture Indication System gloves.
Indicator gloves resulted in 90 percent fewer underglove perforations compared to single gloves, and a reduction of 94 percent compared to standard double gloves.
The evidence confirms that double gloving provides better protection against accidental perforations and needlestick injuries and does not significantly influence dexterity.