In accordance with what he refers to as his “superstitious beliefs,” top cardiac surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital Max Hettche alleges to have worn the same pair of surgical gloves to every single surgery since 1981.
“These here are my lucky gloves,”said Hettche, while pulling at the two 38-year-old, bloodstained pieces of latex dangling loosely from his wrists. “You’ll never catch me going to the O.R. without these babies.”
Hettche’s superstition of wearing the same pair of surgical gloves,which are legally required to be disposed of following biological hazard protocol immediately after use, began back in medical school— when he first started splattering his hands with human bile.
“I had a couple of lucky years back in med school, and I became worried that if I stopped wearing the gloves, my luck would stop too,” said Hettche. “And that was back during the AIDS crisis, so we needed all the luck we could get.”
At press time, Hettche was witnessed adjusting his holey, stiff pair of lucky gloves coated with years’ worth of human innards in preparation to reach deep into his anesthetized patient’s chest cavity.