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[Perspectives] Why were surgical gloves not used earlier?

Many historical accounts show deep impatience with past surgeons’ hesitation to adopt surgical gloves. It seems to be a puzzle that such an obviously beneficial technique could have been overlooked for such a long time, and that, once it was available, it was still not used consistently for many years. The standard example is the story of William Halsted at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, USA, who had introduced surgical gloves in his operating room in 1889, but only for nurses, not for the operating surgeons.