Under the Glove: Nathan Coombs
Dr. Nathan Coombs is a consultant breast surgeon with over twenty years’ experience in breast surgery, endocrine surgery and general surgery. He is one of only six UK specialists trained to offer Intra-Operative Radiotherapy for breast cancer patients, and is an advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer.
Nathan also serves as a specialist commentator for technology appraisal with the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. Mölnlycke is a proud supporter of Dr. Coombs’ work with non-governmental charitable organisation, Mercy Ships, where Nathan teaches a two-day essential surgical skills course in West African countries.
‘Well-established as good practice in surgical safety, double gloving can protect surgeons and their teams from exposure to blood-borne pathogens and other risks.’
Ensuring that healthcare professionals and their support teams are not only provided with the most effective personal protective equipment, but also given the best guidance on how to operate safely to minimise the risk of infection, has never been of greater importance. Since the start of the pandemic, many UK hospitals have put in place guidance recommending double gloving to minimise the risk to staff of infection. Well-established as good practice in surgical safety, double gloving can protect surgeons and their teams from exposure to blood-borne pathogens and other risks.
Ensuring surgical safety through best practice
Early on in the pandemic my hospital took the welcome step of training surgical staff in the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment and explaining where double gloving should be used for surgical care teams working in the operating theatres. The importance of double gloving as a best practice surgical safety technique has been well known for a long time, but introducing it more widely was raised by colleagues as a vital step in ensuring that the personal risk of our staff was minimised. It’s vital to ensure that our staff can undertake their work without the additional worry of putting their loved ones at risk. Double gloving gives you an added sense of security and that you are doing everything you possibly can to minimise the spread of infections.
‘A frequent concern of surgeons when they switch to double gloving is around the loss of sensitivity. Surgeons rely on their precision, and I shared the worry that by doubling the amount of material on my skin, my abilities would be compromised. In truth I didn’t notice any difference, as long as the quality of the glove is there.’
At Mölnlycke®, everything we do is about supporting the performance of our customers. This means supplying them with the most reliable – and most precise – equipment possible. This commitment begins with the design and engineering of Biogel® gloves, and flows right through to the OR.