Protecting human investment
Why is this extra layer of safety important, and where does the resistance come from? Apart from the peace of mind and proven protection to staff and patient health that double gloving provides, double gloving is also a protective measure in other ways. For example, for a hospital, double-gloving practice and policy is a form of protecting its investment. How?
First and foremost, a surgeon's hands and training are his/her livelihood, and by extension, the "life blood" of the hospital. The training and work s/he has done at a hospital has a value. The same applies for the entire surgical staff. From a health economics perspective, double gloving protects hospital staff and the hospital by reducing risk.
Healthcare professionals who have sustained a sharps or needlestick injuries have explained the anxiety, sleeplessness and worry of waiting for days after exposure to blood to learn their status. They work with their hands and depend on having the most protection they can get. This kind of injury can lead to lost work time, potential emotional trauma for patient and staff and even legal action and financial consequences.
What impact does a blood borne virus have?
Post-exposure testing and preventive treatment can be expensive. According to four US healthcare facilities, the mean cost of managing an exposure to a patient with hepatitis C is USD 650, and exposure to an HIV-infected patient is USD 2,4566 . Costs in Europe are also high; in Spain the costs ranged from EUR 172, if the patient tested negative for hepatitis B and C and HIV, to EUR 1,502 if the patient were positive for hepatitis C and HIV7.
Another concern, of course, is the risk for and treatment of a surgical site infection, which can double the length of a patient’s hospital stay (average of 16.8 additional days)8 and require an extra week (7.4 days) of antibiotic therapy6. Essentially this is a 61 percent increase in the overall cost of care8.
Cost and risk of microbial contamination
Double gloving is a simple and effective way to reduce cost of Occupational Exposure to percutaneous injuries.