Comparing non-sterile with sterile gloves for minor surgery: a prospective randomised controlled non-inferiority trial

Heal, Clare, Sriharan, Shampavi, Buttner, Petra G., and Kimber, Deborah (2015) Comparing non-sterile with sterile gloves for minor surgery: a prospective randomised controlled non-inferiority trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 202 (1). pp. 27-31.

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Objective: To compare the incidence of infection after minor surgery conducted using non-sterile clean boxed gloves with surgery conducted using sterile gloves.

Design: Prospective randomised controlled single-centre trial testing for non-inferiority in infection rates.

Setting: Primary care regional centre, Queensland, Australia.

Participants: Consecutive patients presenting to participating general practitioners for a minor skin excision, between 30 June 2012 and 28 March 2013, were eligible to participate.

Intervention: The use of non-sterile clean boxed gloves was compared with normal treatment using sterile gloves in the control group.

Main outcome measures: Wound infection, assessed at the time of removal of sutures, and other adverse events.

Results: Four hundred and ninety-three consecutive patients presenting for minor skin excisions were randomly allocated to the two treatment groups: non-sterile clean boxed gloves (n = 250) or sterile gloves (n = 243). Four hundred and seventy-eight patients contributed data for analysis (241 non-sterile, 237 sterile gloves). The incidence of infection in the non-sterile gloves group (8.7%; 95% CI, 4.9%–12.6%) was significantly non-inferior compared with the incidence in the control group (9.3%; 95% CI, 7.4%–11.1%). The two-sided 95% CI for the difference in infection rate (− 0.6%) was − 4.0% to 2.9%, and did not reach the predetermined margin of 7% which had been assumed as the non-inferiority limit. Results of the intention-to-treat analysis were confirmed by per-protocol and sensitivity analyses. There were no important adverse effects.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that in regard to wound infection, non-sterile clean boxed gloves are not inferior to sterile gloves for minor skin excisions in general practice.

Item ID: 38009
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1326-5377
Keywords: minor surgery, wound infection, sterile gloves, non-sterile gloves
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 01:07
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 100%
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