November 28, 2020

Preventive Medicine doctors do not recommend the use of gloves



The use of gloves is not necessary to protect yourself from the coronavirus, since it does not provide additional protection with regard to hand hygiene and may even increase the chances of transmission of the virus between people or from potentially contaminated surfaces.

This is the position of the professionals of the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene (Sempsph), who recommend that gloves are not worn during normal daily activity and that they are no longer offered and that their use is not compulsory at the entrance of the establishments.

They ask that it be replaced by hand hygiene at the entrance and exit of the same and this can be done with soap and water or with alcohol-based products, such as those collected by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products.

Doctors argue that they are not necessary because the virus cannot penetrate healthy skin and therefore transmission of the disease in this way is not possible.

Gloves, in addition, are as susceptible to contamination as the skin and taking them off without contaminating the hands is not easy, so it requires a specific technique.

They are not used correctly -they say- because they should only be used when there is an express indication, such as to choose fruits and vegetables, and also after finishing they must be removed immediately.

Hand hygiene should always be done before and after using them because the fact that they are carried does not prevent us from touching our faces, just as when we have bare hands (to adjust our glasses or mask or to brush our hair ) and we can get infected.

Hygiene of hands on gloves is less effective than on hands because folds can remain in a glove where the hydroalcoholic solution or soap does not access, and it can also be eroded by cleaning products and leave areas that can become potential reservoirs of microorganisms.

In addition, they create a false sense of security and the person may not take proper precautions to avoid contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or may not wash their hands well afterwards.

Also, wearing them implies a loss of touch and contamination goes unnoticed, but also when they are used regularly, the frequency of hand hygiene decreases.

The experts in preventive medicine also comment on the taking of temperature by shops, work centers and other establishments, and recall that the Spanish Agency for Data Protection has already issued a statement expressing its concern about this type of action.

The Sempsph does not recommend the measurement of temperature or any other biological parameter in a systematic way by non-sanitary establishments “without the endorsement of the competent sanitary authorities”.

The measurement of body temperature is not considered an optimal test to detect cases of disease because almost 30% of COVID-19 cases in Spain have not had a fever and, if present, can do so intermittently and may go unnoticed at the time of control.

The high temperature, in addition, may be due to the effect of certain medications, which is part of the personal history of people that does not have to be known by employers, or there may be no fever at the time of measurement by taking antipyretics.

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