Medical exam gloves are integral supplies for sanitary medical care. They create a barrier between the patient and the caregiver to limit the transfer of bodily fluids and infectious matter. This helps protect both the patient and the medical professional from infection. Medical exam gloves are made of either latex, nitrile or vinyl. Below is an overview of the different types of exam gloves:
Latex gloves are the original medical exam gloves, and also the most common type used by medical professionals today. They are strong, elastic and proven to prevent the transmission of infections. Latex gloves are the thickest and most protective of the different glove types, but are not without drawbacks. Because a small percentage people are allergic to latex, disposable nitrile gloves have been developed as an alternative.
Disposable nitrile gloves are made with a synthetic latex and can be used by people with latex allergies. They are widely used in medical facilities and are known for their comfort and puncture resistance. The uses of disposable nitrile gloves go beyond the medical industry due to their resistance to many chemicals. Nitrile gloves are also used outside of the medical profession for purposes as diverse as tattooing and gardening.
Vinyl exam gloves, made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), are latex free and a secondary alternative to latex gloves. They are often used in the food service industry due to their non-reactive nature. They are also good for protecting the hands during activities such as painting and cleaning. Their lower cost and versatility make vinyl gloves the preferred choice for many non-medical applications.
Within these three main categories of exam gloves, there are a wide variety of options to consider to accommodate your needs and preferences. When shopping for disposable gloves for medical use or another application, ensure that you are purchasing the correct type of glove for your intended purpose.
Rob Perissi is the Founder & President of MEDNET Direct, a premiere source of medical supplies wholesale for hospitals, veterinary and dental offices. Please visit MEDNET Direct for medical supplies such as synthetic exam gloves, wound dressings, sterile cotton tipped applicators and more.