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Guidelines for Using Gloves in First Aid

Wearing gloves while providing emergency first aid can alleviate concerns about infection and ensure protection from blood, vomit, and other bodily fluids.

Choosing the Right Gloves

Commonly used gloves in first aid include:

  • Nitrile gloves: Often used in first aid, available in different colours
  • Vinyl gloves: Commonly used for food preparation, not as strong as nitrile

Latex gloves are less frequently used due to allergy risks. Gloves can be powdered or powder-free; however, some people are allergic to the powder.

Putting on Gloves

Before wearing gloves:

  • Remove any rings that may tear the gloves
  • Inspect gloves for holes or tears
  • Remember, gloves fit either hand

Put gloves on carefully, checking for tears. Change gloves when assisting multiple patients in avoiding cross-contamination.

First Aid Kits and Gloves

First aid kits typically include at least one pair of gloves, often more.

Removing and Disposing of Gloves

Removing gloves is crucial to avoid contact with blood or bodily fluids. Remove gloves by:

  1. Pinching the back of the glove, slowly turning it inside out
  2. Clasping the first glove in your gloved hand
  3. Sliding your finger under the remaining glove and sliding it off

Both gloves should end up inside out and be safe to touch. Dispose of gloves in a biohazard bag or bin, never in general waste. Emergency services will often handle disposal. Finally, wash your hands as soon as possible.