Study: Glove use does not guarantee clean hands

By: November 14th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A study has found that the latex-gloved hands of healthcare providers may be hazardous to patients due to the increased chance of poor hand hygiene.

“’The Dirty Hand in the Latex Glove’: A Study of Hand Hygiene Compliance When Gloves Are Worn” looked at healthcare workers in 56 units in 15 hospitals across England and Wales to see if hand hygiene is worse when gloves are worn. The study found that hand hygiene compliance with gloves was 41.4% and 50%without glove use.

The conclusion: “The rate of compliance with hand hygiene was significantly lower when gloves were worn.”

The study was conducted by researchers from Royal Free Hospital, London, and appeared in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.


No suprise on the results of this study- IPs have known it for years. The surprise is the apparent continued widespread use of latex gloves in the UK. With most hosptials in the USA now going latex safe and using nitrile and/or vinyl, why has the UK not changed?

By Bruce Cunha on November 22nd, 2011 at 9:31 am

I am a bit confused on this study. So workers are not cleaning their hands as often when they use gloves?

They use gloves to protect the patient, so there is no issue there. I guess there might be more contamination of touch surfaces once they take the glove off if they do not do hand hygiene.

I would like to see more studies on just how contaminated touch surfaces are. With or without good hand hygiene I bet the results would show high contamination.

I can definitely see the significance of this study!
Yes, people still have gloves on while caring for the patients, but after they leave the patient and remove golvoes they are still touching keyboards, desks, phones, door knobs, and multiple other commonly shared surfaces with their co-workers, doctors and the public in their facility.

Clean hands/hand-washing should be a given in any healthcare facility gloves or not.
We should never get lazy just because we have gloves or waterless alcohol baesed cleaners available.

Excuse the typos above please 🙂
I’m a great nurse but not a great typist 🙂


Leave a Comment


« | Home | »

Subscribe - Get blog updates via e-mail

  • test
  • HCPro Broadcast Events Calendar