The image of a doctor snapping a surgical glove onto his or her hand has become emblazoned in the minds of most everyone in New York City. Yet despite gloves being so closely associated with healthcare, many of those that we here at Futterman, Sirotkin and Seinfeld, LLP work often seem to know little about when and when it is not appropriate for a healthcare provider to use gloves during treatment. Knowing what the general guidelines for glove use may be could potentially help you determine a cause should you suffer a hospital-acquired infection.
Many may think that defining the proper use of gloves in healthcare to be unnecessary given the protection they afford to practitioners. Not only may gloves protect you from the transmission of bacteria or pathogens, but they also protect providers from acquiring them from you. However, in the often stressful environment of a hospital room, a doctor or a nurse may become easily caught up in what he or she is doing, and thus forget to glove or de-glove his or her hands at the proper time.
According to the World Health Organization, healthcare providers should apply gloves in the following situations:
- Before commencing to perform any sort of sterile procedure on you.
- If they anticipate coming into contact with any of your bodily fluids, non-intact skin or mucous membranes.
- Before making any contact with you if you have been placed under contact precautions.
At the same time, a clinician should remove his or her gloves after having touched any potentially contaminated area of your body, and then re-apply them before continuing with your treatment. You should also know that using gloves in no way replaces the need for hand hygiene.
You can learn more about infection control standards by continuing to explore our site.