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Ansell Healthcare launches Gammex® PF Underglove : Double donning for optimal protection

Brussels, 17 January 2007 - Ansell Healthcare, the global leader in hand barrier protection, has introduced a new latex glove specifically intended for double gloving: the Gammex® PF Underglove incorporating HydraSoft® Technology. Concerned by the high rate of infections amongst medical personnel, Ansell has launched a campaign to promote the use of double gloving for surgical procedures.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), among 35 million healthcare workers worldwide, about three million receive percutaneous exposures to bloodborne pathogens each year; 2 million to Hepatitis B (HBV), 0.9 million to Hepatitis C (HCV) and 170 000 to HIV. Surgeons face the grimmest picture, with the risk for blood-borne exposure and infection highest in the operating room. The average infection risk after percutaneous injury with contaminated sharp instruments varies from 6-30% for Hepatitis B (HBV), 4-10% for Hepatitis C (HCV) and 0.3% for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). (1)

Depending on the procedure, puncturing of gloves during surgical procedures has been found to occur at rates of 11 - 43%. Studies have also shown that the puncture rates increase in gloves that are worn for longer than three hours.(2)

Combined with frequent glove changes, double gloving is probably one of the most effective methods to reduce exposure to blood-borne pathogens (HBV, HCV and HIV), as it reduces by a factor of 10 the number of potential exposures (3). Double gloving significantly reduces the perforation rate of the inner glove by at least 70% (4) compared to single gloving. In a 1992 study it was reported that surgeons who only single gloved had a 51% hand contamination rate versus a 7% contamination rate for surgeons who double gloved(5).

As thin and comfortable as a classical Gammex® PF HydraSoft® glove, the dark green Gammex® PF Underglove features a moisturizing HydraSoft® coating to help promote healthy, unbroken skin. Integrated in the gloves' inner lining, HydraSoft® Technology contains a neutral, odourless skin-friendly, humectant moisturiser combined with Dimethicone, which forms a protective barrier that blocks attacks from foreign substances and prevents the skin from drying out. A polyurethane lining with hydrophilic and hydrophobic elements allows easy damp donning and quick intra-operative glove changing. Gammex® PF Underglove is manufactured using Protein and Endogenous Allergen Reduction Leaching (P.E.R.L.) Technology that delivers a glove with extremely low extractible proteins, reducing risk of latex sensitization. PV100 accelerator becomes gases which are completely consumed during processing leaving non detectable chemical accelerator residue thereby reducing the risk of contact dermatitis.

Holger Fuerstenberg, Marketing Director Europe for Ansell Professional Healthcare, explains: "Our R&D laboratories world wide focus on providing optimal protection in terms of infection control. Through superior glove design, innovative materials and extensive research, Ansell Healthcare provides unique solutions combining safety with skin care considerations."

Ansell's Gammex® PF range of powder-free surgical gloves offers superior quality products, including the best-selling Gammex® PF. Gammex® PF Microthin addresses the need for additional sensitivity and grip, and Gammex® PF HydraSoft® offers extra skin care. Gammex® PF Underglove completes this range, providing extra protection whilst caring for the skin during surgery.

(1) Pattersson et al. Surgeon's Concern and Practices of Protection Against Bloodborne Pathogens. Annals of Surgery, 1998.

(2) Cole R, Gault DT. Glove perforation during plastic surgery. British Journal of Plastic Surgery. 1989;42:481-483.

(3) Tanner J, Parkinson H. Double gloving to reduce surgical crossinfection (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, 2004;
Preventing Disease in the operating roo. Panel discussion. American College of Surgeons Spring Meeting. April 29, 1998.

(4) Tanner J, Parkinson H. Double gloving to reduce surgical crossinfection (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, 2004;
Chapman S, Duff P. Frequency of glove perforations and subsequent blood contact in association with selected
obstetric surgical procedures. Am J Obstet Gynecol. May1993;168(5):1354-1357;
Tokars JI, Culver DH, et. al. Skin and mucous membrane contacts with blood during surgical procedures: risk and prevention. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. December 1995;16(112):703-711.

(5) Quebbeman EJ, Telford GL, et. al. Double gloving. Protecting surgeons from blood contamination in the operating room. Arch Surg. 1992;127(2):213-216.

Note: Visual inspection should not be relied upon to detect glove perforation. Routine glove changing, especially after intensive work on bones or deep procedures which carry a high risk of perforating the outmost glove, is the best way to rebuild a high level of protection provided by two gloves.


Note to editors:

Ansell Healthcare has published a white paper on the Value of Double Gloving within the operating environment. This is available on-line:⟨=EN

For more information, please contact:
Wouter Piepers, Global Communications Director, Tel: + 32 (0)2 528 75 68,
Cell. +32 478 33 56 32, e-mail:
High resolution colour photographs and further information may be downloaded

About Ansell:
Ansell Limited is a global leader in barrier protective products. With operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, Ansell employs more than 11, 000 people worldwide and holds leading positions in the natural latex and synthetic polymer glove and condom markets. Ansell operates in three main business segments: Occupational Healthcare, supplying hand protection to the industrial market; Professional Healthcare, supplying surgical and examination gloves to healthcare professionals; and Consumer Healthcare, supplying condoms and consumer hand protection. Information on Ansell and its products can be found at

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