- the "nature" of valve replacements
- micro tears in the gloves
- inflammation on the surgeon's hand.
There is a great deal of "sewing" around the valve that is necessary to anchor it securely, without leaks. That is the nature of the surgery. Given that, what can an informed patient do to increase their safety?
Quoting the LA Times article linked above, " ...they made a surprising discovery: microscopic tears in the gloves typically worn by surgeons after performing valve replacement surgery. "
Others have investigated tears in gloves, which are important to protect the patient and also the surgeon. This paper from Germany about micro tears in gloves was published in 2010 in the the American Journal of Infection Control.
Please note that these surgeries were laparotomies (abdominal surgeries), not heart surgeries. The authors noted that micro perforations went unnoticed by the surgery team 82% of the time.
A previous blog touched on the importance of the surgeon's hands, raising awareness of the importance of the surgeon's skill
Here, we raise awareness of the importance of something that began long ago with Lister - prevention of infection.
- What does the surgeon, and the hospital in which he operates, do to prevent infection?
- If you are having heart valve surgery, do you know how often your surgeon changes gloves?
- Are double gloves used? Why or why not?
- Would the surgeon operate with an "inflammation" on his hands? How are such decisions made?