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Old January 4, 1999, 10:17 PM   #8
Staff Emeritus
Join Date: November 23, 1998
Location: a small forest in Texas
Posts: 7,077
Latex gloves may provide adequate protection in most cases. However, according to tests done by Texas Dept of Health, latex gloves are somewhat porous and HIV is an exceptionally small virus permitting (in one test case) the virus to seep through the pores of the glove. Also, a small hole in a latex glove might not be noticed (until the glove fills with a stranger's blood?).

Our local EMS folks wear "high risk" or "Nitrile" gloves at scenes with body fluid contamination. Second method, less favored by EMS, is to "double-glove" (wear two latex gloves on each hand). Least favored, simple latex gloves.

Remarkably, in the local Emergency Department (McKenna Memorial Hospital, New Braunfels, TX), they only wear latex gloves (one pair) regardless of the mess!

If "authorities" and "professionals" disagree, I don't know what the facts/risks are; but, I wear only high-risk gloves - even when I must buy them.

Depending upon which "authority" you believe, HBV is 200 to 600 times as contagious as HIV. TB is another threat as are streptococcus, influenza, etc. etc....

When I was working as a Security Officer, I wore latex gloves inside thin leather gloves if there was ANY hint of possible use of force. (The black leather gloves added a little bit to "ethical presence".) It worked for me, but I am sure opinions, customs, and policies vary.

Whatever you decide, Spectre, hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and stay safe. Good luck.
Dennis is offline  
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