|Description:||This image depicts a healthcare provider donning a pair of beige latex gloves in order to protect himself during his subsequent interaction with his next patient, or possibly-biohazardous materials.|
Gloves are part of the repertoire of the personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes facemasks, goggles, and attire appropriate to a medical setting, all of which protects the clinician against contamination by pathogenic, or injurious organisms and materials.
Gloves are used to prevent contamination of healthcare personnel hands when 1) anticipating direct contact with blood or body fluids, mucous membranes, nonintact skin and other potentially infectious material; 2) having direct contact with patients who are colonized or infected with pathogens transmitted by the contact route e.g., VRE, MRSA, RSV; or 3) handling or touching visibly or potentially contaminated patient care equipment and environmental surfaces.
Nonsterile disposable medical gloves made of a variety of materials (e.g., latex, vinyl, nitrile) are available for routine patient care. The selection of glove type for non-surgical use is based on a number of factors, including the task that is to be performed, anticipated contact with chemicals and chemotherapeutic agents, latex sensitivity, sizing, and facility policies for creating a latex-free environment.