The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential for health and safety, and offers protection both to residents and carers. PPE is worn in addition to your normal work clothes, whether these are your own or a uniform.
Gloves should neither be re-used nor washed
Inevitably, the clothes that one wears will become contaminated with microorganisms in the course of the day. However, if PPE is utilised when appropriate then there is little evidence that contamination of clothing plays a major role in the transmission of infection.
- ♦ Gloves
- ♦ Aprons
- ♦ Face, mouth/eye protection, e.g. masks/goggles/visors.In considering what protective clothing might be necessary in any situation it is necessary to carry out a risk assessment. This means asking whether the task you are about to perform gives rise to any possibility of contact with blood or other body fluids. If the answer is yes, then appropriate protective clothing is necessary.
The need for gloves and the selection of appropriate ones must be subject to careful risk assessment. This will involve consideration of the actual task to be carried out, and the potential risks to both the resident and carer.
Gloves must be worn when there is a possibility that your hands will have contact with blood or other body fluids, or organic matter such as faeces. Please refer to the two algorithms:
♦ Risk assessment and glove use (page 15)
♦ Glove selection (page 16)
Gloves should neither be re-used nor washed. Liquids may penetrate through microscopic holes in the glove, and the glove may also be damaged if it comes into contact with oils or silicone based lotions, disinfectants or alcohol gel
- ♦ Wear gloves only when necessary
- ♦ Gloves are not a substitute for handwashing
- ♦ Vinyl gloves are suitable for personal care, but they are not suitable for contact with blood or blood-stained fluids
- ♦ There is a growing incidence of latex allergy, and latex glove use is the single biggest risk factor. Nitrile gloves should therefore be provided, in preference to latex ones. Never use latex gloves that contain powder, as this increases the risk of allergy
♦ Gloves should be changed after contact with each patient and at the end of each procedure:
• Bear in mind that it may be necessary to change gloves between tasks on the same resident to prevent cross-contamination
• Gloves worn for a specific task must be removed before touching uncontaminated areas, or for example, writing in notes
The wrist end of the glove should be held and the glove pulled down gently over the hand, turning it inside out whilst doing so. Dispose of the gloves immediately into a pedal operated disposal bin.
Wash hands immediately.