We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Mechanisms of Glove Tears and Sharp Injuries Among Surgical Personnel

James G. Wright, MD, MPH, FRCSC; Allison J. McGeer, MD, FRCPC; Douglas Chyatte, MD; David F. Ransohoff, MD
JAMA. 1991;266(12):1668-1671. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470120070035.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Objective.  —The development of strategies to prevent exposure to blood for operating room personnel has been hampered by a lack of knowledge about the specific mechanisms of exposure. The purpose of this study was to classify the mechanisms of glove tears and sharp injuries in the operating room.

Design.  —During a 3-month period, a nurse interviewed operating room personnel immediately after a glove tear or sharp injury had occurred.

Setting.  —Yale-New Haven (Conn) Hospital is a tertiary care teaching hospital.

Results.  —There were 249 glove tears and 70 sharp injuries. Visible skin contact with the patient's blood occurred in 156 glove tears (63%). The mechanism causing the tear could be identified in only 81 (33%). For 230 glove tears (92%), personnel were wearing single gloves. Of 70 sharp injuries, 47 (67%) were caused by needles and usually occurred during suturing. The following three mechanisms accounted for 40 sharp injuries (57%): (1) hands injured while stationary and holding an instrument, 11 (16%)—a position of risk not previously identified; (2) hands injured while retracting tissue, 12 (17%); and (3) injuries caused by sharp instruments not being used, 17 (24%). Instrument passage caused only four sharp injuries (6%).

Conclusions.  —The majority of glove tears have an unknown mechanism, and alteration in the manufacture or number of gloves worn may be helpful in reducing cutaneous blood exposures. The identification of specific mechanisms of sharp injuries should lead to effective strategies to prevent exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus and other blood-borne pathogens in the operating room.(JAMA. 1991;266:1668-1671)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.