Science News
from research organizations

Surgeons Put Themselves At Risk, Despite Evidence

Date:
February 20, 2003
Source:
University Of Alberta
Summary:
Exposure to blood and body fluids while operating places surgeons at risk, yet a large number of doctors continue to put themselves in danger despite knowing the evidence, according to a University of Alberta study.
Share:
FULL STORY

Exposure to blood and body fluids while operating places surgeons at risk, yet a large number of doctors continue to put themselves in danger despite knowing the evidence, according to a University of Alberta study.

Double gloving is a safety measure, which decreases the risk of exposure. However, many surgeons do not incorporate this precaution into their personal practice. This study, which is published in the current edition of the American Journal of Surgery evaluates surgeons' gloving practices and hepatitis status.

Researchers, including lead author and general U of A surgery resident Ronald St. Germaine and his supervisor Chris de Gara, director of general surgery at the U of A, sent a questionnaire to 268 consultant surgeons and residents in surgical specialties. A second questionnaire, containing information on safety issues, was sent to the general surgeons (consultants and residents) who did not double glove to learn whether this information would change their practice.

The researchers found that more than half or the surgeons do not double glove (none of the urologists double glove versus 87% of orthopedic surgeons). The most common reasons sited for not double gloving was a decrease in manual dexterity and comfort.

Research shows that when surgeons double glove, the risk of breaking through the rubber decreases from 34.7 per cent to 3.8 per cent. Even once the researchers presented clear evidence of the risks, only 23 per cent of general surgeons would change their practice and double glove.

###

The U of A in Edmonton, Alberta is one of Canada's premier teaching and research universities serving more than 30,000 students with 6,000 faculty and staff. It continues to lead the country with the most 3M Teaching Fellows, Canada's only national award recognizing teaching excellence.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University Of Alberta. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Alberta. "Surgeons Put Themselves At Risk, Despite Evidence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030220081437.htm>.
University Of Alberta. (2003, February 20). Surgeons Put Themselves At Risk, Despite Evidence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 22, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030220081437.htm
University Of Alberta. "Surgeons Put Themselves At Risk, Despite Evidence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030220081437.htm (accessed May 22, 2017).

RELATED STORIES