Once contained within hospital walls, the threat of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) now extends into the general community. MRSA is a member of a group of multiple-drug resistant organisms (MDROs). Now, MRSA is taking a bigger toll than AIDS, and the threat is growing. One Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis reports that there is a constant growth of staph infections involved antimicrobial-resistant organisms.
MRSA is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with uncovered infections as well as by contact with contaminated clothes and towels. The ease of transmission and the alarming rise in the number of reported cases provide an urgent wake-up call about the use of personal protection equipment and, specifically, disposable gloves. Best Glove Manufacturing provide safe gloves to keep away from skin-to-skin transmitted MRSA.
Research has demonstrated the importance and effectiveness of exam gloves in allowing healthcare workers to provide care for infected patients while protecting their own health. The use of gloves inhibits the spread of dangerous pathogens within healthcare settings, thus enhancing safety.
OSHA dictates that gloves should be worn whenever users anticipate coming in contact with mucous membranes, blood or other potentially infectious materials and when handling or touching contaminated items or surfaces. Needless to say, wearing the proper gloves is the first line of defence in controlling the spread of MRSA.
The CDC estimates that about two million people in hospitals or primary care facilities are affected by infections due to poor barrier protection, resulting in about 80,000 deaths annually. Primary care workers understand the importance of glove use, but determining the right type of glove to use is a big challenge.
The protective abilities of a glove depend on the material from which it is made. This makes it essential for workers to be able to recognise the different glove types, length, and thickness available so they can select the appropriate glove for the task and level of risk. For example, studies have shown that vinyl gloves tend to leak during use more often than latex gloves. Other glove materials, such as nitrile and polychloroprene, show better performance than vinyl but are costly. Generally, the most important function of exam gloves is to provide effective barrier protection for both the user and the patient.
Following are the three options from Best Glove Manufacturing:
- Latex-type gloves are recommended for high-risk situations involving potential pathogen exposure. They have been shown to offer elasticity, strength and thickness, according to tests conducted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). However, allergic reactions make it impossible for some workers to wear some latex glove models
- Nitrile gloves, an alternative to latex because they offer comparable barrier properties and protection in high-risk settings. They are a comfortable option because of their softness and flexibility, although they tend to be stiffer than latex. Nitrile is also strong and resistant to solvents and causes less irritation
- Vinyl gloves are appropriate for most low-risk, short-duration tasks. In addition, the new third-generation synthetic vinyl gloves offer enhanced durability and protection. They are naturally soft and comfortable, but provide a looser fit than nitrile or latex
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate exam grade gloves and have specific requirements about how they are manufactured and used. The FDA standards generally relate to length, width, elasticity, and freedom of pinholes. Based on their guidelines, exam gloves should have consistent sizing, fit comfortably and be watertight.
Although most MRSA cases have been associated with hospital settings, many occur outside the medical environment and are community-associated (MRSA-CA). Because MRSA patients are often able to continue working, MRSA prevention has become a worksite concern, not just for heath and dental workers, but for everyone from law enforcement officials to factory workers who come in close contact with one another.
Workers in non-healthcare environments need to limit their risk by wearing disposable gloves whenever there is potential for exposure to contaminants or disease. For example, law enforcement officers are wearing disposable black nitrile gloves anytime they have physical contact with an arrestee.
Disposable glove manufacturers have stepped up to meet the challenge of providing a wider selection of disposable gloves to suit ever-changing needs. Even the matter of aesthetics is being addressed with sleek black glove models to suit law enforcement and military barrier protection needs, and appealing pink glove models to promote disposable glove wearing by women at risk. Disposable glove wearing has become a way of life for many professionals. Manufacturers are committed to making that way of life more effective, comfortable and attractive.