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Medical glove

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Title: Medical glove  
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Subject: Puncture resistance, Isolation (health care), Gloves, Safety clothing, Safe sex
Collection: First Aid, Gloves, Medical Equipment, Medical Hygiene, Medical Technology, Safety Clothing
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Medical glove

Dentist wearing nitrile gloves.

Medical gloves are disposable gloves used during medical examinations and procedures that help prevent contamination between caregivers and patients.[1] Medical gloves are made of different polymers including latex, nitrile rubber, vinyl and neoprene; they come unpowdered, or powdered with cornstarch to lubricate the gloves, making them easier to put on the hands.[2] Cornstarch replaced tissue-irritating Lycopodium powder and talc, but since even cornstarch can impede healing if it gets into tissues (as during surgery), unpowdered gloves are being used more often during surgery and other sensitive procedures. Special manufacturing processes are used to compensate for the lack of powder. There are two main types of gloves: exam and surgical. Surgical gloves have more precise sizing with a better precision and sensitivity and are made to a higher standard. Exam gloves are available as either sterile or non-sterile, while surgical gloves are generally sterile.[3]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Alternatives to latex 2
  • Double gloving 3
  • References 4

History

In 1890 William Stewart Halsted was the first to use sterilized medical gloves when he was at Johns Hopkins University.[4][5] With the publication of germ theory Halsted was using carbolic acid, introduced by Joseph Lister, to sterilize his hands and his nurse's hands. She was sensitive to the chemical, and it was damaging the skin on her hands; so he asked the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company if they could make a glove of rubber that could be dipped in carbolic acid.

Glove materials

The first disposable latex medical gloves were manufactured in 1964 by Ansell. They based the production on the technique for making condoms.[6] These gloves have a range of clinical uses ranging from dealing with human excrement to dental applications.

Criminals have also been known to wear these gloves during the commission of their crimes. These gloves are often chosen because their thinness and tight fit allow for dexterity. However because of the thinness of these gloves, fingerprints may actually pass through the material as glove prints, thus transferring the wearer's prints onto whatever surface is touched or handled.[7][8]

The participants of the Watergate burglaries infamously did so wearing rubber surgical gloves in an effort to hide their fingerprints.[9]

Alternatives to latex

Nitrile powder free gloves

Due to the increasing rate of latex allergy among health professionals, and in the general population, gloves made of non-latex materials such as vinyl, nitrile rubber, or neoprene have become widely used. Chemical processes may be employed to reduce the amount of antigenic protein in Hevea latex, resulting in alternative natural-rubber-based materials such Vytex Natural Rubber Latex. However, non-latex gloves have not yet replaced latex gloves in surgical procedures, as gloves made of alternative materials generally do not fully match the fine control or greater sensitivity to touch available with latex surgical gloves. (High-grade isoprene gloves are the only exception to this rule, as they have the same chemical structure as natural latex rubber. However, fully artificial polyisoprene—rather than "hypoallergenic" cleaned natural latex rubber[10]—is also the most expensive natural latex substitute available.[11]) Other high-grade non-latex gloves, such as nitrile gloves, can cost over twice the price of their latex counterparts, a fact that has often prevented switching to these alternative materials in cost-sensitive environments, such as many hospitals.[12] Nitrile gloves are made up of synthetic rubber. It has no latex protein content and more resisted to tear. Also it is very resistant to many chemicals and is very safe for people who allergic to latex protein.[13] We can say that nitrile glove is the most durable type of disposable gloves.[14] Although nitrile gloves are known for its durability, extra care should be taken while handling with tarnish silver and high reactive metals because those substances can react with sulfur, an accelerant in nitrile gloves.[13]

Powder-free medical gloves are used in medical cleanroom environments, where the need for cleanliness is often similar to that in a sensitive medical environment.

Double gloving

Double gloving is the practice of wearing two layers of medical gloves to reduce the danger of infection from glove failure or penetration of the gloves by sharp objects during medical procedures. A systematic review of the literature has shown double gloving to offer significantly more protection against inner glove perforation in surgical procedures compared to the use of a single glove layer.[15][16]

References

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