Does gloving remove the need for handwashing?
The simple answer is, no. Gloves may break due to inappropriate storing conditions, water leaking in, aggressive use, and more.
That is the reason surgeons scrub their hands to the point of disrupting the natural flora on the skin before donning on gloves. In case a glove will break mid-surgery, strict hand hygiene protocols before surgery are put in place to make sure that the patient stays safe.
These washing protocols were not decided on arbitrarily but after thorough thought and painful experiences.
According to the WHO, “18% (range: 5–82%) of gloves have tiny punctures after surgery, and more than 80% of cases go unnoticed by the surgeon. After two hours of surgery, 35% of all gloves demonstrate puncture, thus allowing water (hence also body fluids) to penetrate the gloves without using pressure.”
What about double gloving?
The WHO continued to address the gloving-hand hygiene issue, this time addressing double gloving. “A recent trial demonstrated that punctured gloves double the risk of SSIs. Double gloving decreases the risk of puncture during surgery, but punctures are still observed in 4% of cases after the procedure.”
“In addition, even unused gloves do not fully prevent bacterial contamination of hands. Several reported outbreaks have been traced to contaminated hands from the surgical team despite wearing sterile gloves.”
Gloving and hand hygiene in the food industry
We shouldn’t be concerned about gloving and hand hygiene only when it comes to surgeries. The food industry has a dire need for hand hygiene practices, while also using gloves. If it’s not good enough for hospitals – it shouldn’t be good enough when it comes to the food we consume.
The food industry needs to step up its game when it comes to hand hygiene. Turning a blind eye to hand hygiene issues doesn’t only affect the country’s economy, but could also cost businesses in the food industry millions of dollars in lawsuits, recalls, loss of credibility and brand positioning, and destruction of contaminated goods.
In order for us to truly have the upper hand in the fight against hand borne pathogens, handwashing protocols must be followed strictly, even if gloves are going to be used. This includes monitoring hand hygiene compliance rates and techniques, as well as providing the proper infrastructure to allow employees to wash their hands thoroughly.
The smart hand hygiene machine scans the hands during the washing process and grades the user’s techniques, letting them know immediately whether or not they had an effective wash cycle.
The CleanMachine also dispenses the correct amount of soap and warm water when sensing movement in a touch-free operation that allows to minimize infections around the washing station.
The automatic hand washing machine has a facial recognition feature, which allows employers to track important hygiene trends inside their facilities and provide further guidance if needed.
If you want to learn more about the CleanMachine, you can contact us here.