HealthDay News — For patients undergoing outpatient cutaneous surgical procedures, use of nonsterile gloves is not associated with increased risk for surgical site infection (SSI), according to a review and meta-analysis published online in JAMA Dermatology.

Jerry D. Brewer, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the rates of SSI with use of sterile and nonsterile gloves in outpatient cutaneous surgical procedures. Data were included from 14 studies with 12,275 unique patients who had undergone 12,275 unique outpatient procedures and had follow-up regarding SSI. One study with 1,204 patients was excluded from meta-analysis, leaving 13 studies with 11,071 patients.

The researchers found that 2.1% of patients (228 patients) were documented as having postoperative SSI, including 2.1% in the nonsterile glove group and 2.0% in the sterile glove group. The overall relative risk was 1.06 for SSI with nonsterile glove use (95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.39).

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“No difference was found in the rate of postoperative SSI between outpatient surgical procedures performed with sterile versus nonsterile gloves,” the authors write.


1. Brewer JD, Gonzalez AB, Baum CL, et al.  Comparison of Sterile vs Nonsterile Gloves in Cutaneous Surgery and Common Outpatient Dental Procedures. JAMA Derm. 2016; doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.1965.