To determine the potential rate of intraoperative parenteral exposure of physicians and patients caused by glove perforation during ophthalmic surgery, gloves were analyzed after 125 procedures. Gloves were collected from all surgical team members (surgeon, assistants, scrub nurse, and circulating nurse). The rate of glove perforation was significantly lower for the surgeon, 0.3% (one of 303 gloves) than for the assistants, 5% (ten of 202 gloves [P = .001]), scrub nurses, 16% (52 of 326 gloves [P = .0001]), and circulating nurses, 15% (43 of 293 gloves [P = .0001]); similarly, assistants had a significantly lower rate than did scrub nurses (P = .0001) and circulating nurses (P = .001). There was no statistically significant difference in number of perforations on the basis of surgery duration or type of ophthalmic procedure. These findings suggest that the risk of parenteral exposure during ophthalmic surgery is low for the surgeon, and higher for other surgical personnel. We also analyzed additional safety precautions. Further study is warranted to determine the effectiveness of precautions and to guide policy formulation.
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