Glove protocol

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This page describes protocol, or, how to do things with QueerCare. You should check how to read protocol well if you're new to QueerCare.
Note regarding COVID: This page is not specifically relating to the COVID-19 pandemic pandemic, but includes information that will be useful for dealing with the pandemic.

Non-sterile disposable gloves must be used when handling blood or other bodily fluids. They can also be used in certain circumstances to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, when supplies allow.

However, wearing gloves does not directly protect you from contracting COVID-19, or from spreading it to others. The virus is contracted through the respiratory system, not through the skin. If you have touched something contaminated with the virus, remember that your gloved hands can now transmit the virus to anything else you touch.

When to use gloves

Gloves must be worn

  • When handling blood or other bodily fluids
    • Remove gloves immediately afterwards and wash your hands as soon as possible
  • When doing first aid
    • Change gloves in between patients
    • Always use gloves, even when you don't expect bodily substances; your patient might suddenly vomit

Gloves should be worn, if available

  • During close contact with a person (potentially) infected with COVID-19
    • Remove gloves immediately afterwards and wash your hands as soon as possible
  • When touching something which an infected person has touched
    • Remove gloves immediately afterwards and wash your hands as soon as possible
  • During close contact with an immunocompromised or high-risk person.
    • Put on fresh gloves immediately beforehand – don’t wear the same pair of gloves while travelling
    • Whenever possible, wash/sanitise your hands first
  • When touching something which an immunocompromised/high-risk person will touch
    • Put on fresh gloves immediately beforehand, and don’t touch anything else after putting them on
    • Whenever possible, wash/sanitise your hands first.

Gloves can be worn

  • When you are likely to pick up virus on your hands but will be unable to wash them immediately (e.g. when using public transport)
    • Remove gloves immediately after exposure to contaminated surfaces
  • If you have a skin condition which is exacerbated by hand-washing
    • Wash your gloved hands or change gloves as frequently as you would wash bare hands.

How to use gloves

  • Gloves are an addition to hand hygiene, not an alternative. Whenever possible, always wash or sanitise your hands immediately before putting on gloves, and immediately after taking them off.
  • While wearing gloves, don't touch anything that could transmit virus to or from your gloved hands (your face, your phone etc)
  • If wearing any kind of mask,
    • put on the mask first, then the gloves, to prevent transmission of virus from your face to your gloved hands.
    • remove the gloves first, then the mask, to prevent transmission of virus from your gloved hands to your face.
  • When putting on gloves, touch only the cuff with your bare skin, to avoid spreading virus to the exterior of the glove
  • When taking off gloves, don’t touch the exterior with your bare skin:
    1. Pinch the material of one glove near the wrist with the gloved fingers of your other hand. Pull the glove off your hand
    2. Using only your gloved hand, crumple the glove you have removed into a ball and hold it in the palm of your gloved hand
    3. Slide your bare fingers inside the wrist of your gloved hand. Use these to pull the glove off, so that it turns inside out and encloses the balled-up glove.
  • Place contaminated gloves inside a sealed plastic bag. If you have been in contact with an infected person, leave this for 72 hours before putting it in a communal waste bin.
    • If you have used multiple pairs of gloves, label the bags with a marker pen to keep track of this.
  • If you are supporting more than one person on the same day, use a fresh pair of gloves for each person.
How to remove gloves

Which gloves to use

  • Nitrile gloves are suitable for general care and first aid use.
  • Latex gloves can be used if you don’t have a latex allergy and are not planning to touch someone who might have an allergy.
  • Vinyl gloves are more likely to leak, and should not be used if other options are available.
  • If you have no disposable gloves, washing-up gloves can be used to protect yourself from bodily fluids when caring for an infected person, e.g when cleaning linen. (World Health Organisation) They must be washed and disinfected after each use. The pair of gloves must be kept for this purpose only - don't use them in any other circumstances.
  • Don't reuse washing-up gloves for other interactions with high-risk or potentially-infected people - the risk of spreading virus is too great. If you have no disposable gloves, focus on hand hygiene.