What's your opinion and policy on glove disinfection?
Non-sterile disposable gloves are single-use products which, by definition, can only be used on a single patient. The disinfection of gloves can be useful in the care of a patient if the gloves cannot be changed and there is an indication for hand disinfection. It should be noted that the tear resistance of some gloves is reduced as long as alcohol-based hand disinfectants have not dried off completely.
Has someone complained about the reduced use of gloves?
The decision to reduce the wearing of gloves was the decision of a central commission. In order to avoid complaints, the wearing of gloves was not prohibited, but through training we have made it possible to reduce the wearing times. This has been positively received by the majority. Since it was still possible for employees with concerns to wear gloves continuously in isolation rooms if they wished, there were no complaints.
What type of gloves to be used, rubber gloves or hand care gloves?
As long as no toxic or skin damaging substances are handled, we prefer non-sterile disposable gloves, as rubber gloves may contain allergens.
Is it ok to use alcohol hand rubs to disinfect our hands and wear gloves also?
The use of gloves has the aim to protect the hands from gross contamination. Therefore, hand disinfection and glove use should be applied in accordance with the particular indication and depending on the respective activity.
You banned the ear-loops for respirators, is this just for FFP2 or also for normal masks?
We have removed from the range only respirators (FFP2) models with ear loops. Medical masks outside surgical areas can still be used with ear loops. Tied surgical masks are used in surgical areas. You can find an open access detailed review about the tight fit of respirators here.
Is it always necessary to disinfect the hands before wearing gloves?
Yes, hands must be disinfected before each use of gloves. This avoids contaminating gloves when removing them from the packaging with multiple gloves and avoids contaminating the outside of the gloves during donning.
Every moment in the 5 Moments of hand hygiene also indicate a change of gloves. But if ABHR is used in all 5 moments, do we still need to use gloves?
In my view, the use of gloves can be reduced to a necessary minimum of application. Gloves are still useful in avoiding contamination with large amounts of potentially infectious material, as high levels of a biological load can also reduce the effectiveness of hand disinfection. Furthermore, the use of gloves is necessary wherever direct skin contact may pose a risk to medical personnel.
Do you think that the importance given to "transmission by surfaces" in the pandemic is a factor that influences the abuse of gloves nowadays in healthcare?
During the pandemic, many people created their own views of what constitutes "good infection prevention". Many studies show that self-protection measures tended to be better adhered to by medical staff, while measures for the exclusive protection of patients tended to be less frequently applied. Since gloves provide a sense of security for many people, the belief that they must protect themselves from harmful contaminated surfaces may have contributed to increased misuse of gloves. However, we have not conducted extensive scientific research on this topic ourselves.