By Trevor Horne

Puncture Indication Systems Can Help Detect Glove Punctures While Suturing

Gloves are extremely crucial in preventing contamination, and is a personal protective equipment that everyone wears in the operating room. However, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) policy guidelines for surgical gloves considers manufacturers whose leakage defect rates do not surpass 1.5 as having met the acceptable quality level (AQL). This means that 1.5% of surgical gloves may have defects. Even if the gloves are initially flawless, holes can be caused during the surgery by surgical needles. This poses a huge safety risk as the holes can cause transmission of blood and possibly dangerous bloodborne contagions between the surgeon and the patient. To markedly lessen the risk of this happening, puncture indication systems should be used.

How Puncture Indication Systems Work

Double-gloving is promoted in the operating room as a way to lessen hand injury during surgery, yet double-gloves can still be punctured by needles. Therefore, puncture indication systems are necessary. As its name suggests, it can help identify and signal the presence and location of holes in the surgical gloves. You must first slip on a pair of gloves with the puncture indication system, for example the green Biogel® indicator gloves. Then, you can put on another glove over the indicator system glove. If the outer layer of glove is punctured during surgery, a brightly colored spot will appear at the site of perforation as a warning. The Biogel® indicator gloves will show either a bright green color if you are wearing latex gloves, or a bright blue color if you are donning latex free gloves. The puncture indication systems are designed to be clearly visible, quickly visible and also largely visible even from a distance.

Thus, once the puncture indication system has detected a perforation, surgeons can immediately remove and dispose of their gloves, cleanse their hands, and then put on another pair of surgical double-gloves with the indication system. This is especially useful for long surgeries since the risk of punctured gloves increases as the duration of the operation grows.

Effectiveness of Puncture Indication Systems

How do we know if the puncture indication systems work? The good news is, it has been shown that the Biogel® indicator gloves are very effective at helping to detect glove punctures. Punctured gloves can cause a break in sterile technique and increase transmission of germs within the operating room. The risk of surgical site infections (SSI) increases to 6.9%. The Biogel® indicator gloves, however, reduces SSIs from punctured gloves by 8.4%.

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