Although nitrile was used in making surgical gloves, you will have a hard time finding such a pair of protective glove being used in an operating theater. Nitrile surgical gloves were created in search of a cost-effective latex-free, synthetic alternative as the awareness of latex allergies became rampant. The idea was good, but nitrile glove manufacturers could only do so much to make nitrile feel like a surgical glove.

The problem with nitrile is that the elongation and tensile strength was inferior to latex material. Latex rubber is one of the most flexible materials and can be stretched pretty far. Essentially, this gives latex surgical gloves a great feeling. Given today’s technology, it was not possible to make a nitrile surgical glove that felt like latex. Surgeons that tested out nitrile surgical gloves complained that they could hardly feel anything. For surgeons, having a high tactile sensitivity is crucial.

The other major problem was that nitrile surgical gloves tended to get slippery when it came into contact with blood and bodily fluids. This resulted in having a less secure grip on surgical instruments so that it hampered the ability for a surgeon to effectively perform optimally. Another issue discovered was that during extended periods of donning the nitrile version of the surgical glove, there were some reports that nitrile gloves were less comfortable and tired out the hands.

Neoprene and polyisoprene surgical gloves are now the most popular synthetic surgical glove you will find. Although nitrile is considerably cheaper, surgical gloves cannot inhibit surgeons from performing to the best of their abilities while they are trying to save lives. For this reason, it is quite rare for you to see nitrile surgical gloves used today.