Disinfecting Exam Gloves: MedTech Europe Releases Updated Informative Document on PPE in the Context of COVID-19

25 Feb

Originally sent on 30 November 2020, updated on 24 February 2021


On 11 May 2020 MedTech Europe published a document containing an overview of the different types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Furthermore, the document presents the current supply chain and product delivery situation and challenges, which are critical factors in managing this pandemic.

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.


We invite you to read the letter from our European Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs on this matter, which includes reference studies.