Who is at risk: patient or health professional?
Both are sensitive when in contact.
They need to wear gloves and the appropriate selection of the required ones is a serious task of assessment; as it is related to risk to the patients and health workers.
- Best Disposable Gloves For Infection
- How can gloves help in infection control?
- Proper Glove Use in Healthcare
- Inappropriate Use of Gloves in Healthcare
- When is the use of gloves in infection control vital?
- Important Factors To Keep In Mind
- When to Remove Gloves in Medical Treatment?
- How do aprons prevent the spread of infection?
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How can gloves help in infection control?
Disposable medical gloves and aprons are necessary items for personal protection of the health professionals from the risk of infections and to minimize the opportunities of transmitting the germs or contagious diseases.
Proper Glove Use in Healthcare
The gloves used for health care are single-use items and must be removed and disposed of immediately after any procedure has been ended. They should not be washed or sterilized: it can never be a substitute for changing them with the new ones. It is also very important that the hands must be decontaminated after the gloves’ removal as the evidence of hands got contaminated is present.
When To Wear Medical Gloves
- Sterile gloves are needed in any surgical procedure.
- Invasive radiological procedures.
- Performing vascular access
- When contact with blood or any bodily fluid is anticipated.
- Potential presence of infectious organisms.
- Epidemic or emergency situations.
- Intravenous insertion or removal.
- Vaginal deliveries.
- Drawing blood or discontinuation of venous line.
- When chemical hazards e.g. disinfectants or preserving agents are likely to be in contact.
- When handling sharp or contaminated devices in a running procedure.
- When undertaking an aseptic, non-touch technique procedure.
- Last but not the least, handling or cleaning bodily fluids or instruments.
Note: Any cuts or abrasions on hands must be covered with a waterproof dressing before wearing gloves for any sort of even minor procedure.
Inappropriate Use of Gloves in Healthcare
There are some other situations however, where gloves are not indicated except for the contact precautions; few of them are below:
- Taking blood pressure
- Performing intramuscular injections
- Bathing and dressing the patients
- Transporting the patients
- Vascular line manipulation in absence of blood leakage
- Using the telephone
- Writing on the patient chart
- Giving oral medicines
- Placing an electronic care-recording device
- Maintenance of electric devices in the hospital
When is the use of gloves in infection control vital?
The use of gloves in infection control becomes vital during the treatment of the patient and other healthcare activities where blood exposes and other body contact.
Important Factors To Keep In Mind
- Gloves are supposed to be personal protective equipment that creates a barrier between germs and the hands. Wearing gloves in the health-care centers help prevent the spread of germs.
- Medical gloves are categorized as sterile and non-sterile examination gloves. Some procedures require sterile or surgical gloves: Sterile means free from germs.
- Boxes of disposable gloves must be available in all the areas where patients’ care takes place.
- Choosing the appropriate size for a good fit is very important in order to perform better: too big sizes would either make it easier for the germs to get inside, or would make it difficult to hold objects properly. And too small gloves tend to rip quickly.
- If you are going to handle chemicals, check the instruction sheet to what kind of gloves you will need for the specific chemical.
- DO NOT use oil-based hand lotions until and unless they are approved for use with latex gloves. If someone has noticed or developed latex allergy, use non-latex gloves and try to avoid contact with other products containing latex.
- Try to assess the use of gloves according to the standard precautions. Some of the expected conditions to wear gloves include: contact with blood or bodily fluids, potentially infectious materials, injured or bruised skin, contaminated skin, and unhygienic or non-sterilized equipment.
- Hands’ cleanliness is prior before wearing gloves. If the task needs gloves, wash your hands first and then wear them. Similarly perform hand hygiene soon after removing the gloves.
- Change the pair of gloves immediately if they are torn or damaged during the procedures.
- Change the gloves if they are visibly soiled with blood or bodily fluids while following a task.
- If you are moving from a soiled body site to a clean body site even on the same patient; then also it will require you to change the gloves.
- NEVER wear the same pair of gloves while shifting from one patient to another.
- CAREFULLY remove the gloves to keep the hands safe from contamination.
- Every member of the medical staff needs to educate himself on how to evaluate whether he needs to wear gloves or not.
When to Remove Gloves in Medical Treatment?
- As soon as the procedure finishes.
- When contact with an individual patient, or his surrounding has been ended.
- If the gloves get damaged during the activity.
- When non-integrity of the gloves is suspected before wearing the gloves.
- When there is an indication for the hands to be cleaned.
- After completing an aseptic, non-touch technique.
How do aprons prevent the spread of infection?
Microbial contaminants on the clothes of health workers are a significant factor regarding health care associated infections. It is recommended therefore to use disposable plastic aprons for general clinical uses. If a possibility arises of extensive splashing of blood or bodily fluids onto the clothes or skin of the health professionals, full-body gowns which are fluid-repellent must be worn.
There are countries where aprons are categorized on the basis of the procedures or tasks being undertaken e.g.
Yellow: for cleaning isolation areas;
Blue: for general cleaning like wards, floors etc.
Red: for cleaning bathrooms, washrooms, toilets, and basins;
Green: for working in the ward’s kitchen areas, and patients’ food service.
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