Why gloves are your best friend in fighting infections

Every year 4.1 million people in Europe are affected by healthcare associated infections. These infections develop as a result of medical care in hospitals, or other healthcare facilities and cost society around 7 billion Euro a year.

To avoid spread of healthcare associated infections (HAIs), gloves are an essential tool for the healthcare professional. By wearing the right gloves in the right way you protect yourself, your colleagues and patients against the transmission of microbes. That sounds fairly simple, but in practice it is not always as straightforward as that.

Let us take a closer look at how gloves can be your best friend in the fight against HAI’s.

Prevent spread of microbes: choose the right glove

Microbes spread easily in healthcare institutions due to the physical contact among patients and healthcare professionals and as occupational infections among healthcare professionals. Most microbes are spread through your hands, so when wearing gloves, you significantly reduce spread of infections. 

Gloves come in almost all sorts and sizes, but not all gloves are suitable for working in healthcare. The important parameters to know when selecting gloves are the intended application and the need for protection against various risks. To determine which gloves to use, a number of factors should be considered to ensure a healthy and hygienic environment, such as: the intended task, material, thickness, size, time of use, and disposal.

Quick guide: How to choose the right glove

Overview of how to choose the right glove (based on material):

  • Nitrile gloves are good all-round medical gloves, as they are recommended for a wide range of uses including chemotherapy, patient care, bodily fluids, cleaning, and food handling.
  • Latex gloves are good healthcare gloves as they are good for patient care, cleaning, food handling etc., but not for chemicals such as chemotherapy (cytostatica) or hormone creams.
  • Vinyl gloves are recommended for short cleaning tasks and suitable for some situations of patient care but not recommended for all healthcare use.

See our extensive guide for choosing the right glove for the right task here

Know your symbols!

Medical examination gloves used in healthcare must comply with a number of requirements and standards laid down in European legislation. Several symbols exist in this context and it is important to know what they mean to be able to choose the right glove. The CE mark is often seen as a quality mark, but this symbol does not really say anything about what a glove can and cannot be used for. Thus, knowing your symbols and legislation is essential in the process of choosing the right glove.

Gloves legislation

Correct use and disposal of gloves

Besides choosing the right type of glove and practicing accurate and frequent hand hygiene measures, correct use of the glove is also essential to fighting spread of infections. It is important to be aware of how you don as well as take off a glove, and especially taking off the glove deserves extra attention. After use, the gloves are 'polluted' with microbes that you do not want to come into contact with your skin or clothing.

New innovative Antimicrobial Gloves

What if medical gloves could kill microbes upon contact? ABENA Antimicrobial Gloves do just this. While conventional medical gloves serve only as a passive barrier between microbes and your hands, ABENA Antimicrobial Gloves have a built-in antimicrobial technology that actively helps to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and thus spread of infections.

Activated by light and oxygen, and able to kill up to 99.999% of selected microbes, these new gloves provide an extra active layer of protection to healthcare around the world.

Benefits of the antimicrobial glove: 

  • World’s 1st non-leaching antimicrobial gloves 
  • Kills up to 99.999% of selected bacteria
  • Provides active protection against HAIs (healthcare associated infections)
  • Tested non-sensitizing on skin

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