Published: 2019-08-28

Skill of donning surgical gloves amongst residents: a neglected skill

Jayasree Kasula, Kodandapani Yerroju


Background: Sepsis is a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. Sepsis causes approximately 1 million new-born deaths annually. The global prevalence of maternal sepsis is 4.4% causing more than 5.7 million cases and one tenth of maternal deaths annually. Skin preparation, shaving and wound closure were some factors involved in surgical site infections. But the technique of wearing gloves in a sterile way has not received enough attention. Hence this cross sectional observational study was undertaken to assess the awareness and proficiency in this technique among the residents.

Methods: 104 post graduate students from the departments of General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Anaesthesiology from two medical colleges were administered a questionnaire and also were observed one at a time with a checklist in an OSCE station. Study was conducted in several sessions over a period of 2 months.

Results: None of them were formally taught this technique. 36 (34.56%) were informally taught by seniors. 7 (6.72%) tore the glove while wearing. 39 (37.44%) put two fingers in one finger space. 42 (40.32%) touched bare skin with gloved hands while wearing. 54 (51.84%) touched bare skin with used surface of the glove while removing.

Conclusions: Awareness about technique and skill of donning sterile gloves among residents of various specialities are not satisfactory. It is recommended to teach this skill as soon as the students enter medical school in a strict and formal way and monitor their proficiency throughout their training period.


Donning of gloves, Awareness, Skill level, Residents

Full Text:



WHO. India newborn action plan 2014. 2014. Available at: Final.pdf. Accessed on 5 July 2015.

Blencowe H, Cousens S, Oestergaard MZ, Chou D, Moller AB, Narwal R, et al. National, regional and worldwide estimates of preterm birth rates in the year 2010 with time trendssince 1990 for selected countries: a systematic analysis and implications. Lancet. 2012;379(9832):2162-72.

Clark R, Powers R, White R, Bloom B, Sanchez P, Benjamin DK Jr. Prevention and treatment of nosocomial sepsis in the NICU. J Perinatol. 2004:24(7):446-53.

WHO. World Health Report 2005: make every mother and child count. Available at: Accessed on 21 September 2015.

Say L, Chou D, Gemmill A, Tunçalp O, Moller AB, Daniels J, et al. Global causes of maternal death: a WHO systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2014;2(6):323-33.

WHO. Preventing and treating infections around the time of childbirth. WHO. Available at: health/ topics/ maternal_perinatal/ treatment-maternal-peripartum-infections/ en/. Accessed on 5 July 2015.

Cruse PJ, Foord R. The epidemiology of wound infection: A 10-year prospective study of 62,939 wounds. Surg Clin North Am. 1980;60(1):27-40

Cruse PJE. Classification of operations and audit of infection. In: Taylor EW, editor. Infection in Surgical Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1992: 1-7

Culver DH, Horan TC, Gaynes RP, Martone WJ, Jarvis WR, Emori TG, et al. Surgical wound infection rates by wound class, operative procedure, and patient risk index. National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System. Am J Med. 1991;91(3):152-7.

Gotrupp F, Andrew Melling, Dirk A. Hollander. An overview of surgical site infections: aetiology, incidence and risk factors. Available at: Accessed on 27 July 2019.

Gayatri LP, Patil LS, Shashikala P. Donning surgical gloves: A skill to be taught? J Educ Res Med Teach. 2014;2(1):43-7.

Peyton JWR. Teaching and learning in medical practice. 3rd edition. UK: Rickmansworth, Manticore Europe Limited; 1998.