A new study undercuts clinical  guidelines that call for the use of expensive sterile gloves to prevent infections during wound care.

An analysis of four previous trials found no significant difference in the risk of surgical site infections whether using sterile or nonsterile gloves to repair wounds, Palestinian doctors reported in JAMA Surgery. The researchers, however, noted that their findings were specific to lacerations and other simple wound repairs.

The JAMA study involved a review of existing evidence on “super clean” gloves’ effect on reducing surgical site infection rates when repairing minor wounds in emergency, primary care and outpatient settings.

Two previous studies showed nonsterile gloves were a cost-effective option when repairing minor wounds and lacerations. Sterile gloves can cost up to four times as much as regular gloves because of special production and packaging requirements.

Co-author Loai Albarqouni, MD, of Bond University in Australia, said clinical guidelines that reflect the findings could help direct healthcare spending toward “treatments and interventions that we know are effective based on strong evidence.”