What Are The Types Of Gloves In Healthcare

In the medical field, each and every piece of sanitary equipment, process, and fluid play a vital role in protecting the skin from harsh chemicals and harmful germs. Disposable gloves are one of the protective gear that prevents hospital staff from getting their skin in contact with other hazardous substances.

However, hospitals are busy 24/7 all year long, and more than hundreds of gloves are used and disposed of by doctors and nurses in a hospital all year, so it goes without saying that hospitals would need a backup of thousands of gloves in their storage.

Though there are reliable medical disposables manufacturers in China to take care of gloves demand, hospitals first need to consider size, type, and quality when it comes to ordering gloves.

Here is a detailed guide on the different types of gloves in healthcare and what their uses are:

What Purpose Does Gloves Serve In Nursing?

What Purpose Does Gloves Serve In Nursing
Source: Unsplash

Nurses are the saviors in hospitals who handle patients’ imperative processes before and after surgery. Not only in surgery, they also assist in cauterizing the wound, taking blood samples, cleaning and injuries and many more.

Compared to doctors, nurses have plenty of work to do, which demands the need for quality disposable gloves, ensuring their safety and safeguarding the patient’s wellness.

Here are more reasons why nurses require gloves in healthcare:

  • Cleaning hands is not enough to remove the germs out of the skin, which is why it is crucial for nurses to wear dis[osable gloves that are free from contagions. 

  • Nurses come in contact with blood and other bodily fluids when taking samples.

  • They are usually in charge of sanitising and handling the surgical instruments for the surgeon.

  • In most hospitals,s nurses take care of the injection, so they need a good glove when handling the needles.

Almost every healthcare worker is expected to wear gloves when working in the hospital. Depending on the type of work, there are different kinds of gloves for healthcare professionals to choose from as well.

Different Types Of Gloves In Healthcare

Different Types Of Gloves In Healthcare
Source: Unsplash

Doctors and nurses wear gloves to safeguard themselves from contagions and harmful chemicals, so they are asked to wear disposable gloves that are disposed of after one use.

While disposable gloves do a good job protecting the skin from possible mishaps, there are various types of them, and each of them is meant for different uses. 

Here is a list of the different types of medical gloves which are extensively used in the healthcare industry.

Surgical Gloves

Surgical gloves, as the name implies, are worn exclusively by surgeons who come in direct contact with blood, infections, and other surgical instruments.

Surgical gloves play an imperative role in safeguarding the surgeon and the patient from getting infected from illness or infection.

Since surgery involves handling a plethora of sharp instruments, it is important to keep an eye out for the material of the surgery gloves.

Nitrile gloves, which are well known for their extreme durability and puncture resistance, are the go-to options for surgical gloves.

Exam Gloves

Exam gloves are ordinary gloves worn by healthcare professionals outside the surgery room.

These gloves are used when doctors and nurses are cross-examining the patients or handling samples and other chemicals. Since exam gloves are usually used for minor situations, it is not entirely crucial to be picky with the quality of the material.

Since exam gloves are usually disposed of after one use, latex, vinyl, and nitrile are the common material options.

Chlorinated And Non-chlorinated Gloves

Powdered gloves are the most preferred option due to the ease of swiftly wearing them. However, they are not for everyone, and that is why there is a better alternative, chlorinated gloves.

Chlorinated Gloves

Chlorinated gloves, which are easy to define, are gloves free from powder and treated with chlorine, making them easy to put on. 

Since these gloves are free from any allergy-inducing particles, they are the most preferred option in healthcare.

However, chlorinated gloves have some minor shortcomings; they last only about a year as the gloves will become brittle after exposure to heat. And also chlorinated gloves exude chlorine odor which some might find discomforting.

Non- Chlorinated Gloves

Contrary to chlorinated, non-chlorinated gloves are free from chlorine and its stench; however, they are covered with a gel coat of silicone particles to ensure swift wear.

Since the gel-like coating is found in non-chlorinated gloves, they are susceptible to allergies.

Powdered And Powder-free Gloves

Latex gloves especially are hard to wear when it comes to other types of gloves. This is why they are covered with a substance making it easier for professionals to wear them swiftly.

But there comes a major disadvantage with this advantage: allergies, and to tackle that problem, another alternative was found: powder-free gloves.

Powdered gloves

Powdered gloves are gloves that come along with powder coating making it easier for doctors and nurses to wear them smoothly. 

Initially, cornstarch was the powder medium; later other safer options such as lycopodium powder and talc were used.

But since skin tends to sweat under the gloves, when mixed with the powder, some might experience allergies such as skin reddening and rashes.

Powder-free gloves

Powder-free gloves are a milder alternative to powdered gloves. They are safe and easy to do.

Powder-free gloves are the ones that are preferred for surgeries since there is no powder to leak during the surgery and also contaminate the protective gear.

As easy as it is to wear gloves, powdered latex gloves have various disadvantages, which is why they are the least preferred option in the medical industry. The allergies associated with latex gloves will be later discussed in this guide.

Medical Glove Types Based On Material

Medical Glove Types Based On Material
Source: Unsplash

In terms of gloves, there is a variety of them, and each one has a specific task in which they are preferred. 

The types we discussed earlier are further divided into different types based on the type of material used in creating them.

As it may sound complicated, material type plays an important role when it comes to choosing gloves (Knowledge: What Are The Types Of Gloves In Dentistry) for a certain task, which is why it is crucial for healthcare professionals to dive deep into learning more about the material types of gloves.

Since it is an extensive topic, here is a brief explanation of the various glove types in the healthcare industry,

Nitrile Glove

Nitrile Gloves and their uses in healthcare
Source: Unsplash

Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic rubber or nitrile butadiene rubber. This polymer offers strong durability and resistance against sharp instruments and harsh chemicals, which is why they are the most preferred glove options in the healthcare industry, especially for surgeries.

Nitrile gloves also have different types within them as well. Here is a detailed guide to nitrile gloves.

Sterile Nitrile Gloves

As the name implies, Sterile Nitrile Gloves undergo various sterilisation processes that meet the FDA standards for sterilisation techniques. These are the gloves which are permitted to be used in surgical rooms.

Non-sterile Nitrile Examination Gloves

Non-sterile Nitrile Examination Gloves are the exact opposite of Sterile Nitrile Gloves; they do not meet par with the FDA standards and are used usually for non-surgical procedures and treatments.

Nitrile Examination Gloves

Nitrile examination gloves are mostly used in less severe procedures other than surgeries.

Nurses and doctors can use nitrile examination gloves to provide topical treatment for patient wounds, for examining their wounds, handling injections, examining blood samples etc.

In labs, nitrile examination gloves are used in handling dry chemicals and corrosive acids.

Advantages Of Nitrile Glove

The advantages of choosing nitrile gloves are,

  • They are lightweight and comfortable.

  • The gloves offer extreme elasticity, so they will not tear off when stretching while wearing.

  • They are extremely durable and can be worn for a long time before being disposed of.

  • Nitrile gloves are resistant to punctures, tears, and abrasions with low-impact activities.

  • Even if there are small punctures and tears, they are easily visible to the naked eye in nitrile gloves.

  • Nitrile gloves offer extreme protection against bloodborne pathogens and certain chemicals.

  • Nitrile gloves offer superior protection against chemical splashes.

  • They also offer a firm grip on slippery objects.

Disadvantages Of Nitrile Glove

Being a popular preferred medical gloves options, nitrile gloves don’t have many disadvantages, only a few, and they are,

  • Nitrile gloves offer a less tactile sensitivity than latex gloves, so wearers might find it hard to feel and manipulate objects.

  • The nitrile rubber polymer is quite expensive, so nitrile gloves are very expensive compared to other glove varieties. 

Latex Gloves

Latex Gloves and their uses in healthcare
Source: Unsplash

Latex gloves are made from an organic rubber polymer and are the predecessor for the other gloves used in the medical industry.

Latex gloves are not only flexible and comfortable to wear but also extremely tactile, making it easier for the doctor to hold and manipulate the instruments easily.

They offer extreme protection against germs and infections. In terms of use, latex gloves are available in different types they are,

Sterile Latex Surgical Gloves

Sterile Latex Surgical Gloves are used by surgeons while performing surgeries.

These gloves usually undergo FDA sterilisation procedures and are deemed safe to use for surgeries.

Sterile Latex Examination Gloves

Healthcare professionals use sterile Latex Examination Gloves Treat dangerous wounds and avoid infections for the patient and the doctor.

These gloves are sterilised according to FDA regulations but are not used for surgeries.

  • Non-sterile Latex Examination Gloves

Non-sterile Latex Examination Gloves are only used to protect the skin against mild germs and chemicals. 

These gloves do not meet up with the FDA sterilisation regulations and so are barred from use in surgeries.

Advantages Of Latex Gloves

Latex gloves offer the following advantages they are,

  • Latex gloves are sturdy enough to prevent small abrasions and tears.

  • They offer extreme tactile sensitivity and are highly preferred for conducting surgeries.

  • Latex gloves are flexible and also comfortable to wear.

Disadvantages Of Latex Gloves

Though latex gloves offer a series of benefits, they also come with several disadvantages as well,

  • Latex gloves are prone to cause allergies, such as rashes and skin reddening.

  • Though they offer good resistance to sharp instruments, the tear and holes are hard to detect.

  • Not only skin allergies, but latex gloves can also cause respiratory issues.

PVC Vinyl Gloves

PVC Vinyl Gloves and their uses in healthcare
Source: Unsplash

Vinyl gloves are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with a plasticising agent added for flexibility. The main advantage of vinyl gloves is their low cost, making them a popular choice for situations where gloves are changed frequently and discarded.

Here is a detailed guide on vinyl gloves in healthcare and their pros and cons in the healthcare industry:

PVC Vinyl Exam Gloves

PVC Vinyl Exam Gloves are used only for examination purposes since the texture and thickness of the gloves are softer and thinner compared to nitrile gloves.

Vinyl gloves are used for mild treatments like treating wounds, injections etc.

Advantages Of Vinyl Gloves

PVC Vinyl gloves offer many benefits they are,

  • The vinyl gloves are lightweight and comfortable to wear and use.

  • They contain no allergy-inducing particles, so they do not cause any allergies.

  • Vinyl gloves are strong and durable enough to abrasion.

  • Compared to other medical gloves, vinyl gloves come at cost-effective prices.

  • Vinyl gloves are also resistant to fats, lubricants, oxidizing agents, and a few types of acids and bases.

  • Vinyl gloves provide high dexterity.

Disadvantages Of Vinyl Gloves

As many benefits vinyl gloves provide, they also have some disadvantages, 

  • Compared to nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves are less durable and more resistant to abrasions.

  • Vinyl gloves are less thicker, so they should be worn when handling harmful chemicals and infectious samples.

  • They also offer less breathability.

  • When handling most organic solvents and water-based solutions, vinyl gloves are not the best choice since they grow soggy.

PE Gloves

PE Gloves and their uses in healthcare
Source: Pinterest 

Polyethylene is a type of polymer that is one of the most widely used plastics today. PE gloves are typically used for tasks that necessitate frequent glove changes.

This glove has a loose fit that makes it easy to put on and take off, making it ideal for food service lines, deli counters, and other high-volume applications. They are not recommended for surgical use because they are much larger than hands.

These gloves are commonly used in hospitals to preserve a sanitary atmosphere in food preparation and service by keeping germs away from the food.

Furthermore, these gloves are quite inexpensive.

PE Examination Gloves

PE Examination Gloves are generally used only for handling medical instruments and minor treatments like wound cleaning and medicine handling.

PE Examination Gloves are typically not recommended for usage in medical treatments.

Advantages Of PE Gloves

Though PE gloves are not extensively used, they possess the following advantages, 

  • PE gloves are available at affordable prices.

  • They are used in maintaining hygienic food preparation and cleaning.

  • Disadvantages Of PE Gloves

PE gloves have the following disadvantages they are,

  • PE gloves are relatively thin and hence not advised for medical uses.

  • They are not suitable for long-term uses.

Chloroprene Gloves

Chloroprene Gloves and their uses in healthcare
Source: Unsplash

Chloroprene is a latex-like synthetic polymer that possesses the strength, comfort, and sensation of latex while also having the capacity to expand and contract like Nitrile. 

Also known as neoprene gloves, Synthetic rubber is used to make chloroprene gloves. Chloroprene gloves are modern disposable gloves with the same feel as latex but without the dangers of allergy. With chloroprene gloves, you can expect the following advantages:

Advantages Of PE Chloroprene Gloves

Chloroprene gloves offer the following list of advantages they are,

  • Neoprene is a type of rubber that can withstand moisture. Waterproof neoprene gloves provide excellent grip while keeping your hands dry when working with liquids. 

This comes in handy during dental and surgical operations. Though neoprene’s water resistance isn’t as great as nitrile, these gloves can withstand a wide range of liquids.

  • Neoprene is the only glove material that offers finger sensitivity and complete flexibility of movement in a wide range of situations. 
  • Neoprene gloves offer a high level of dexterity, making them the most preferred option for surgical procedures and cross-examinations.
  • It’s not difficult to find well-fitting neoprene gloves. The material snugly hugs the fingertips without being uncomfortable. There are no gaps between the gloves and the hands. Furthermore, neoprene may quickly return to its previous shape after being stretched. 
  • Neoprene has a high fibre strength by nature. As a result, you can wear them while conducting heavy-duty jobs and feel assured that they will last. 
  • They are also waterproof and will not get soggy in water.
  • Neoprene gloves do not cause any allergies, making them the best alternative for latex gloves, infamous for their allergy-inducing components.
  • Workers who work with acids can shield their hands with a good pair of neoprene gloves.
  • Neoprene gloves shield the wearer from minor wounds, punctures, and scratches.

Disadvantages Of Chloroprene Gloves

Chloroprene gloves offer the following disadvantages,

  • The most significant downside is the high expense of neoprene gloves. Other glove varieties that provide similar benefits are less in price than chloroprene.

  • Chloroprene gloves have a shelf life of fewer than three years.

Examination Gloves Vs. Surgical Gloves

Examination Gloves Vs. Surgical Gloves
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When choosing gloves for healthcare purposes, out of all options, two of them are deemed to be confusing to most because of their similarities regarding usage, exam gloves and surgical gloves.

Exam gloves and surgical gloves are the most used and preferred glove options in hospitals as they limit the chance of skin contact and are easily disposable. However, they are entirely used for different reasons, and it is recommended for hospitals to have a generous backup of both; here is why:

  • Exam Gloves

Aside from surgery, various other processes take place in medical centres.

Examining the patients for any issues, treating their wounds, and injecting vaccines are some of the treatments requiring gloves for both the practitioner and the patient’s safety.

However, the mentioned treatments are less crucial than surgeries and will not require the need for high-quality and thick-density gloves such as surgical gloves, which is why lesser-quality exam gloves are used.

Vinyl, latex, and nitrile are the preferred material options when it comes to exam gloves. Consult an exam gloves wholesale manufacturer and decide on the material you prefer the exam gloves to be in.

  • Surgical Gloves

Surgical gloves are made especially for surgeons and nurses to wear during surgery.

The reason is simple, sanitariness.

Surgeons have to deal directly with skin, blood, organs and the instruments used in the necessary surgery. So they need a glove that is not only thick enough to fend them against harmful infections but also sturdy enough to survive and sharp instruments.

This is why surgical gloves are made sincerely by surgical gloves suppliers with the highest quality materials like nitrile, which is well known for its robustness and cut opposition.

Why Nitrile Gloves Are The Top Choice In The Medical Industry?

Nitrile Gloves In The Medical Industry
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Nitrile gloves are the preferred material option for every glove used in the healthcare industry.

The reason is simple nitrile gloves are not only sturdy but also cause no allergic reaction to the wearer as opposed to latex gloves which are mostly avoided due to their fatal allergic reactions.

However, ‘not inducing allergic symptoms’ are not the only selling point of nitrile gloves.

No, there is a slew of other reasons convincing us that they are the best option. They are:

  1. Nitrile Gloves Offer Excellent Chemical Resistance. 

Whether you are looking forward to using gloves for medical purposes, lab research purposes, or even for cleaning, it is possible to deal with harsh chemicals, so it is necessary to protect the skin from them.

Since nitrile is well known for its quality of resistance against harmful chemicals, the gloves will ensure you give your skin extreme protection and durability against hazardous chemicals.

  1. Nitrile Gloves Offer Finest Tear And Puncture Resistance

Dealing with sharp instruments is inevitable in the healthcare industry; some gloves of minimal quality tend to tear off when handling sensitive instruments. But nitrile, out of all other glove materials, is renowned for its sturdiness. This sturdiness also defends the skin against harsh chemicals as well, which is why nitrile gloves are the most preferred material when it comes to healthcare gloves.

  1. Nitrile Gloves Offer High Tactile Sensitivity

Some gloves, when wearing, give off an alien feeling and make it difficult for the wearer to move their hands. This lack of sensitivity has no place, especially in healthcare.

On the other hand, nitrile gloves allow the user to retain their sense of touch. This means the wearer can easily feel and manipulate instruments.

  1. Nitrile Gloves Provide A More Comfortable Fit.

When it comes to gloves, it is necessary to ensure that they perfectly fit the hands since large gloves can be inconvenient when working with medical instruments.

Nitrile gloves offer an optimal solution for this. These gloves provide a perfect fit and match the shape of the hand. In addition to this, they have the ability to react to your physical temperature, which causes them to conform to a natural, snug, and comfortable fit.

  1. Nitrile Gloves Make Frequent Glove Changing Easier And Quicker

The reason why disposable gloves (Knowledge: Ultimate Disposable Gloves Buying Guide) are used in healthcare is to ensure sanitary conditions. This is why after one use, doctors and nurses immediately remove the gloves and dispose of them. 

Unlike other gloves, nitrile gloves are easy to wear and remove. During surgeries where maintaining the limited time is crucial, surgeons have to remove the gloves as quickly as possible and adorn a new one, which is why nitrile gloves are the best option.

  1. Nitrile Gloves Are Meant For Long-lasting Use.

Hospitals usually stack up their storage with gloves to suffice throughout the entire year. Some gloves can get brittle and unusable after long-term storage, while some can suffer tears even in the slightest prick of sharp objects.

However, with nitrile gloves, this instance is rare to none due to the robust sturdiness of the material, which is why nitrile gloves are the better option for long-term usage.

  1. Nitrile Gloves Have A Wide Range Of Uses.

Gloves are usually worn to safeguard the skin against dirt, and harsh chemicals and healthcare is not the only industry that experiences that.

Automobiles, laboratories, food industry and chemical facilities are some other industries in constant contact with harsh chemicals, which is why they must also wear gloves. Since nitrile gloves are well known for their robustness, they are the preferred option in most fields.

In sum, single-use gloves made of nitrile are designed to be used when protection is needed, and sensitivity and dexterity are also required. Visit a renowned medical nitrile examination gloves supplier and buy nitrile gloves now.

How To Choose Medical Gloves Appropriate For Nurses In The Healthcare Industry

Medical Gloves Appropriate For Nurses In The Healthcare Industry
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In general definition, gloves are safety products worn by people to find their skin from dirt and harmful substances to prevent chances of infection.

Gloves are different types; each type is made of a different kind of material, and each one is used for various purposes. 

This is why it is necessary to first analyze certain properties before placing a bulk order of gloves, such as determining the size requirements, the type, shelf life and many more.

So, here are a few points you should consider before deciding which gloves you are planning to purchase from your OEM latex examination gloves manufacturer. 

Industry Requirements: 

Before looking into size requirements, first, it is essential to know whether the type of gloves meets your industry requirements.

Medical gloves are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and are considered Class I medical devices.

Since most gloves are similar in colour, it is easy to confuse normal gloves with medical ones. So contact your medical glove manufacturer and inquire about the standards of the gloves before placing the order.


Some gloves end up on the wrist, while some extend up to the elbow.

The length of the gloves, too, is a crucial aspect to consider since, in surgeries where the surgeon has to use their hands to operate, they would need long gloves to save their skin from getting in contact with fluids.

Short gloves are better suited for examination and treating wounds.


It is normal for gloves to stretch to fit the hands when wearing. However, some gloves tend to tear when stretched too much.

So it is essential to ensure that the gloves have an elongation of at least 300% with your manufacturer.


The thicker the glove, the better the protection.

Some chemicals are strong enough to penetrate holes in gloves, and some instruments are sharp and cause holes in the gloves, so the gloves must be sturdy enough to provide ultimate protection.

However, too much thickness can reduce dexterity, so it is necessary to make sure that the gloves are thick enough to minimise tears and flexible enough to offer the feel of touch.


Gloves should not be too large to allow germs to enter and small enough to provide discomfort to the wearer. It should be perfect.

So it is necessary to ensure that the gloves provide the ultimate fit to the wearer.

Shelf Life: 

Hospitals and clinics usually have a backup of gloves to ensure they do not run out of them during emergencies.

But some gloves are not suitable for longer shelf life. These gloves tend to become brittle and unusable when stored for a longer duration.

This is why it is necessary to ensure that the gloves you are buying can stay usable even when stored for a long time.

Also, make sure to store the gloves in a cool, dark place to extend their maximum shelf life.

Chemical Resistance:  

Not coming in contact with chemicals is inevitable when working in healthcare. It can be vaccines, medicines, anesthetics, and also blood and bodily fluids.

Some gloves might not be resistant enough to chemicals that may cause adverse reactions on your skin, so it is necessary to require reusable gloves specifically designed for the types of chemicals they will be handling.

Puncture And Cut Resistance:

When handling syringes and other sharp medical instruments, some might graze with the gloves and cause punctures in the gloves.

Gloves made with puncture-resistant material are important to avoid the above-said instances.


Safety is the major concern when it comes to gloves; however, price plays an important role as well. 

Thankfully many manufacturers in China offer high-quality medical gloves in bulk amounts along with customisable options at affordable prices.

Comfort And Preference: 

Gloves should be comfortable and not obstruct work.

Although some gloves may look to fit like latex gloves, if they are too small, they will be uncomfortable for the wearer and cause pain, interfering with work. As a result, it is critical to ensure that they are properly fitted.

About Allergies To Latex

About Allergies To Latex
Source: Unsplash

Though gloves fend against allergies and specks of dirt, latex gloves are prone to cause allergies to some. Latex allergies are quite common, and some might experience the following symptoms,


The most commonly experienced allergic symptom caused by latex gloves is irritation. However, the allergy may not entirely be caused by latex but rather due to extreme skin dryness and due to excessive sweating under the gloves.

Extreme itchiness and stinging are the initial symptoms of latex allergy. If ignored, the symptoms may develop to more painful levels and cause stinging, and the skin becomes crusty and thickened, with dry bumps and scabs that may peel or form fissures or cracks.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This reaction is caused rather by the chemicals used in the manufacture of the latex gloves rather than the latex itself. The allergic symptoms might be skin redness, itching, scaling, peeling, hard bumps, fluid-filled blisters and oozing sores.

Though the above symptoms may occur only at the place where the gloves came in contact, the symptoms may also spread to other parts of the body.

Hypersensitivity Immune System Response

Hypersensitivity Immune System Response is the actual allergic response to natural rubber latex gloves.

The allergic symptoms will occur hours after exposure to the latex as skin flushing, itching, or tingling with hives. Other reactions might include symptoms similar to hay fever, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and more severe asthma-like symptoms like wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and many more.


Gloves play a significant role in assisting medical practitioners and nurses in handling hazardous chemicals and infectious wounds. A good quality glove should be able to safeguard the person wearing it from getting any infections.

Since surgery and treatment outside the surgical room are very different, healthcare professionals use different types of gloves depending on the severity of the treatment. We hope you understand the significance of the use of different kinds of gloves in healthcare.

At MedicalKemei, we have been manufacturing and supplying medical gloves for years. With our wide expertise, we can provide high-quality medical gloves in bulk amounts within a limited time. Visit our website to know more about our services. 

Other FAQ

Why Are Medical Gloves Purple?

Purple Nitrile Exam Gloves are approved for use in chemotherapy procedures. They’re also more patient-friendly. Some people believe that blue is too linked with frigid medical exam tables and that purple and pink gloves are more appealing to patients. 

Why Are Medical Gloves Blue/Green?

There was a doctor who was overworked with long operations. All he could see was a white coat and white gloves. At that moment, he couldn’t see anything clearly, only blue-green organs could be seen. These blue-green afterimages interfere with the surgeon’s vision and judgment and are dangerous to the patient. At this moment, he has no ability to complete the operation.

I think everyone has guessed the reason for such an accident. It is because the color compatibility of white latex gloves is poor, which causes the brain to be desensitized to red. Because the color of latex gloves cannot be changed, the walls, curtains, and surgery Change caps, surgical gowns, etc. to blue. 

It wasn’t until the 90s that colorful nitrile gloves came out. After the advent of nitrile gloves, it is rumored to make up for the shortcomings of white latex gloves in the operating room. The first nitrile gloves were blue. Since then, blue nitrile gloves have become the new favorite among medical gloves. Rich colors not only make nitrile gloves show their strength in the medical industry, but also play an irreplaceable role in various industries.

Color wheel

In fact, the main reason why blue and green surgical gowns are used by surgeons is that the two colors are complementary to the color of a person’s internal organs and blood. The reason for choosing teal as a surgical gown has to do with how our brains perceive color. The more saturated a color is, the easier it is for us to see its complementary color.

Complementary colors are mainly a theory put forward in the 19th century. Along with complementary colors, the color wheel is a chromatic tool.

The colors are arranged in rainbow order on the color wheel. Complementary colors are two colors that are 180 degrees opposite each other on the color wheel. The color wheel has applications in many places, such as painting, printing, graphic arts, industrial design, and even our visual system.

Imagine the application of this principle in the operating room. If a doctor sees a colleague in a blue-green surgical gown in an operating room with walls painted blue-green, his eyes will have an easier time distinguishing the complementary color of blue-green—red, or human’s—during the procedure The color of the internal organs and blood, he can also operate more accurately.

If you turned the gown and the walls white,not only does it cause glare, it also makes it easy to create an optical illusion called an afterimage.

Why Are Medical Gloves White?

During the production process, natural latex rubber turns white, which is why most gloves are white. 

White gloves are popular in cleanrooms since it’s important to see what’s on your gloves. EMTs may use white gloves for the same reason, though blood will quickly show up on any light-coloured glove.

Is the standard for medical gloves the same in every country?

No, each country can have different standards for a glove to be described and marketed as medically safe. For example, in Australia, we have some of the strictest requirements for a disposable glove to be certified and registered as medically safe by our Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

On the other hand, in the USA, the FDA advises healthcare facilities not to use or purchase imported medical gloves from businesses listed on Import Alert 80-04 Surveillance.

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