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5/31/2018 » 6/3/2018
2018 OSAP Annual Conference

FAQ - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - 2016
 FAQ - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - 2016



Can "food handler" gloves be effectively and reliably used as an over glove to prevent the transmission of infectious disease from a contaminated glove to a clean surface?

Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team states the following relevant information:

Patient Care Activities

Dental professionals should wear disposable gloves during all patient care activities where a potential exists for direct hand contact with saliva, blood, or other oral fluids, mucous membranes, and nonintact skin when handling items or surfaces contaminated with body fluids or potentially infectious materials.

Gloves used for patient care are not to be reused on a subsequent patient. Dental professionals should also not wash patient care gloves with any detergent or chemical; washing may weaken stabilizers in the glove materials or enhance penetration (causing wicking) of material through inherent defects. One may rinse off powder (cornstarch) on fresh gloves with plain water before patient care, if desired.

If the dental professional leaves the chairside during patient care, the best procedure is first to remove the gloves and don a fresh pair on returning to chairside. This change prevents contamination of any surfaces one may touch when away from chairside and prevents contaminating the patient with microorganisms already present on those same surfaces. One also should remember that any surface at chairside that is touched with contaminated gloves and also may be touched during the care of the next patient must have been covered previously to prevent cross-contamination or must be precleaned and disinfected before care of the next patient….An alternative to changing gloves in these situations is to use inexpensive copolymer or plastic gloves or a sheet of plastic wrap over the patient care gloves (overgloving) to prevent spread of the patient’s microorganisms to surfaces that are touched. One then removes the overgloves before resuming care on the patient.

Another important aspect of glove use during patient care is that one must remove torn or punctured gloves as soon as possible, followed immediately by hand hygiene and donning of fresh gloves. 1


1)     Miller CH. Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team, 5th edition. Elsevier/Mosby Publishers. Pages 108-109.


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