Do you know that almost 20-30% of healthcare workers and law enforcement groups are injured by sharp medical devices, such as needles, scalpels, and lancets, every year in the United States alone?
Out of these injuries, percutaneous injuries (needlesticks) account for nearly 80% of reported sharps injuries.
In addition to the physical injury, needlesticks can also lead to the transmission of bloodborne pathogens like HIV and hepatitis C. Fortunately, there are now needle-resistant gloves available on the market that can help protect healthcare workers from sharps injuries.
Read on to learn more about needlestick gloves and why you need them.
What Are Needlestick Gloves?
Needlestick gloves are gloves that have been designed to protect the wearer from needles and other sharp objects. They are usually made of thick, puncture-resistant materials such as Kevlar, Nylon, nitrile polymer, steel mesh, or epoxy plates.
Who Need To Wear Them?
They are used by medical professionals, law enforcement personnel, and others who may come into contact with sharp needles.
Handling needles is a dangerous occupation and a highly regulated one. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set stringent standards for needlestick safety.
OSHA requires employers to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, and masks to protect workers from needlesticks.
Gloves are the essential piece of PPE for needlestick safety. They must be made of puncture-resistant material and fit snugly on the hands.
Why Are Needlestick Resistant Gloves Important?
Needlestick gloves are essential because:
1. Protect From Puncture Wound
They protect the wearer from sharp needles and other objects that could cause puncture wounds. Puncture wounds can be very dangerous because they can quickly become infected.
2. Prevent Disease Transmission
Needlestick gloves also help prevent the transmission of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. When dealing with needles, there is always a risk of contact with blood or other body fluids that could contain these diseases. Wearing gloves helps to reduce this risk.
3. Improve Safety
Needlestick gloves also improve safety for the person wearing them. Protecting the hands from sharp needles reduces the risk of accidental cuts and needlestick injuries.
4. Comply With Regulations
In many cases, needlestick gloves are required by law. For example, in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific regulations regarding gloves when working with needles.
How To Choose Needlestick Safety Gloves?
Many brands mention “puncture-resistant gloves” or “needle stick resistance” on their products. However, there is no guarantee that manufacturers follow the quality while using these terms. Therefore, it is hard to compare the needle stick performance of one glove to another. The good news is that there are a few standards that do exist for testing gloves against needlesticks.
The ASTM has published several methods for testing gloves against needlesticks. One method, ASTM F2878, is specifically for testing gloves made of material that claims to be puncture resistant. This test uses hypodermic needles inserted into the glove material at a specified speed and pressure. The number of needlestick punctures that occur in the glove material is recorded.
Understand The Puncture Resistance
Needlestick gloves are designed to protect against needle punctures. They are tested using a 21-, 25-, or 28- gauge hypodermic needle to simulate needle hazards in work environments.
Cut protection is also an important consideration when choosing needlestick gloves. The material used in these gloves must be resistant to cuts to provide the highest level of protection possible from a needlestick injury.
Check The Purpose-Built Protection Zone
Protection zones are the glove areas that are designed to provide the highest level of protection against needlesticks.
When choosing a needlestick glove, it is essential to consider the purpose-built protection zones. These zones should be made of a material that is puncture resistant and cut resistant.
These areas include:
- Palm: It is the most-injured area and needs more protection.
- Fingers: Needle punctures can occur between the fingers, so it is essential to be vigilant.
- Thumb: This area is also susceptible to needle punctures, so it is crucial to choose a glove that has a purpose-built protection zone in this area.
- Cuff: The glove’s cuff should be made of a material that is cut-resistant to provide the highest level of protection possible.
Make Sure The Gloves Fit Properly
Proper fit is essential for any protective gear, including needlestick gloves. Gloves that are too small or too large can impede movement and reduce dexterity. This can make it difficult to perform tasks requiring precision.
It is crucial to choose a size that fits snugly without being too tight. The gloves should allow you to make a fist and grip objects securely.
If the gloves are too loose, they can fall off during use. This can leave your hands unprotected against needle punctures.
Consider The Material
The material of the glove is also an important consideration. Gloves made of nitrile polymer provide the highest level of protection against needlesticks.
This material is puncture-resistant and cut resistant. It is also comfortable to wear and provides a good grip.
Other materials, such as Kevlar or latex, can also provide a high level of protection against needlesticks.
FAQs about Needle resistant gloves
1. What Is A Kevlar Glove?
A Kevlar glove is a type of glove that is made with Kevlar. This strong synthetic fiber is used in various applications, including bulletproof vests and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE). The fibers in Kevlar gloves are woven together tightly, making them extremely strong and resistant to punctures and cuts.
2. What Is Needlestick Protection?
Needlestick protection refers to a glove’s ability to resist punctures from sharp objects like needles. Many materials provide this type of protection, as the fibers are resistant to punctures and cuts.
3. How Do Kevlar Gloves Work?
Kevlar gloves provide a barrier between your hand and any sharp objects you may come in contact with. The fibers in the glove are strong and resistant to punctures, meaning that they will help protect your hands from being injured by sharp objects.
4. Is Leather Puncture Resistant?
Leather offers good cut protection, but it is not an ideal material for needlestick protection. The fibers in leather are not as strong as those in Kevlar or nitrile, and as a result, they are more likely to be punctured by sharp objects.