Sterile Gloves for Rodent Surgery

December 18, 2015

aseptic surgical toolsBased on standard veterinary practices and provisions for animal welfare, the Guidelines on the Performance of Surgery in Rodents have been updated.

Initial implementation will begin January 18, 2016. Beginning on that date resources will be available for turning in applicable records (please see details below) and IACUC, Husbandry, and ULAM Veterinary staff will be visiting facilities and laboratories to evaluate application of the new processes and to provide help and guidance to research personnel on these processes. Final implementation and adherence to these new standards is expected by April 15, 2016.

Major changes involved in these updates include:

  • Sterile, individually packaged gloves are now required for rodent surgery. Gloves specifically manufactured for surgery are not required (though of course are acceptable).
  • Other ways to meet these standards:
    • Commercially available, individually packaged pairs of exam gloves available via:
      • Amazon (; search for “sterile exam glove”)
      • eSafetySupply (; follow menu Category -> Disposable Gloves -> Latex Gloves ->  Medical/Exam Grade Latex Gloves -> Sterile Gloves)
    • Lab-packaged exam gloves with appropriate QA for sterility (including records of this quality assurance).
  • Other clarifications regarding use of gloves specifically describe the need to change gloves if the sterile surgical field is disrupted is any way and suggest the use of an assistant to minimize this need.
  • Clarification regarding drapes:
    • Drapes are not required, but highly recommended.
    • Information regarding proper sterilization of plastic drapes (such as Glad Press’n Seal ®) is specified.

Principal Investigators and investigative staff will be responsible for:

  • Discontinuing use of non-sterile gloves for rodent surgeries.
  • Providing sterile gloves (purchased or lab-sterilized with appropriate QA procedures) for their rodent surgical procedures.
  • Assessing their surgical practices to evaluate use of a drape to provide a sterile workspace for rodent surgeries.
  • Amending their protocols to ensure they are in line with the new guidance or to provide an appropriate and robust scientific justification if compliance is not possible.