Q&A about COVID-19: Do healthcare workers need to change gloves after taking samples?

Many readers wonder if medical staff need to change medical gloves after taking samples for COVID-19 testing to ensure the safety of sample collectors and medical staff, if not, they need to be changed. What measures to use to avoid virus infection?

Dr. Huynh Minh Tuan – Head of Infection Control Department at Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy – said that not only for COVID-19 testing, but also for all other infectious diseases, medical staff are medical gloves must be worn. The purpose of using gloves during sampling is to protect the safety of both the healthcare worker and the person being sampled.

medical staffs taking samples
Medical staff take samples to test for COVID-19 for people in Thu Duc city

According to Decision 5188 QD-BYT dated December 14, 2020 of the Ministry of Health on guiding the prevention and control of COVID-19 infection, applied at medical examination and treatment facilities. Including regulations on wearing medical gloves during sampling, medical staff must wear two layers, the first layer (inner layer) is medical gloves that are always kept clean, avoiding contact with the device. dirty tool. After each collection, each person must change into medical gloves, to ensure that the sampler and staff are not infected with the virus.

Currently, in the complicated epidemic situation, the sampling in the community is high, the number of people taking samples is large, making it impossible for many people to go to the hospital to take samples. The Ministry of Health has issued Official Letter No. 5063/BYT-DP on the use of PPE when taking samples for COVID-19 testing, on June 24, 2021.

The official dispatch has regulations on the use of protective gear during sampling, stating that when taking samples, medical staff use a pair of gloves and disinfect with alcohol solution after each sampling to prevent infection. cross contamination. To increase work efficiency and shorten operation time, instead of having to change new gloves, medical staff can use alcohol to disinfect. According to regulations, the alcohol solution used to disinfect has an alcohol content of 60-80%, if the alcohol concentration is low, it will not be able to kill the virus.

Alcohol can damage gloves after many times of disinfecting, causing the danger of spreading germs. Therefore, the regulation has stated that only disinfect gloves up to 6 times after taking samples, or if gloves are found to be damaged, they must be replaced immediately. Doctor Tuan further recommended that if eligible, medical staff can wear 2 pairs of gloves and change after each sample collection. If there are no conditions, maximum disinfect and change gloves after 6 sampling times in accordance with regulations. Gloves should not be used again after 6 times of disinfection.