When Should Sterile Gloves Be Worn?

When Should Sterile Gloves Be Worn?

Sterile gloves are manufactured and packaged in compliance with FDA sterilization standards. Sterile glove manufacturers take extra steps to ensure their gloves protect wearers who may be exposed to bodily fluids, germs, viruses and other potential hazards. Sterile gloves cost more than other single-use gloves because they must pass stricter quality control measures and have a specific acceptable quality level (AQL) of pinholes.

When to Wear Sterile Gloves

Sterile surgical gloves need to be worn when:

  • Performing or assisting with surgery.
  • Delivering a baby.
  • Cleaning or examining an open wound.
  • Performing an aseptic technique to keep germs away from a site.
  • Placing or removing IV lines or catheters.
  • Exposure to pathogens or blood is possible.
  • Contact with a body cavity or tissue is expected.
  • Contact with a sterile site could happen.

Any time an individual may contact germs, bodily fluids or viruses, they must wear sterile gloves. Wearing sterile gloves correctly means washing and drying hands properly before putting on the gloves. To put on the gloves, grasp the wrist cuff to pull each glove on. If any tears occur, discard the glove, wash and dry hands and start again.

Since sterile gloves cost more than non-sterile options, medical professionals often need to decide when to wear each type of glove. If there is any chance of contact with pathogens or bodily fluids, it is safer to wear sterile gloves. These gloves can help prevent the spread of infection and keep both healthcare workers and patients safer.

When to Remove Sterile Gloves

It is critical to remove sterile gloves before touching any potentially non-sterile item. For example, when cleaning a wound, remove the gloves immediately after treatment, before contacting any other body part or any non-sterile surface. If such contact occurs even during treatment, a medical professional needs to pause treatment to put on a fresh pair of surgical gloves. Surgical gloves also need to be removed and replaced immediately if they tear or any puncture or breach of the gloves occurs.

To remove gloves, grasp the glove at the wrist without touching any exposed skin and pull the material away from your skin so the glove turns inside out. Hold the first glove in the remaining gloved hand. Without touching the removed glove, slide your hand under the second glove and roll the glove so it folds around the first glove. Dispose of both gloves and wash and dry hands.

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