MedTech Europe acknowledges the extremely high demand for examination gloves in the midst of a pandemic. Additionally, manufacturing capacity for gloves can neither quickly nor easily be ramped up. This combination of factors could cause a severe supply disruption. Substituting surgical gloves for examination gloves is not a sustainable solution due to the high quantities needed and an even more complex manufacturing process.
Despite the fact that gloves (and most PPE) are single-use, the MedTech Europe document suggests contacting glove manufacturers about any cleaning and disinfection protocols that may allow safe disinfection of examination gloves between patients, thereby slowing consumption and conserving limited supply.
Medline anticipates this supply shortage to begin as early as mid-May. Therefore, we would like to offer our research, test data and practical solutions to aid your facility’s development of a cleaning and disinfection protocol. When the shortage occurs, a viable, effective and inexpensive emergency protocol may be for healthcare workers to rinse their gloved hands to remove visible soil, and then either spray, wipe or dip their gloved hands in a receptacle containing a disinfectant solution (such as bleach), without replacing their gloves.