For veterinary professionals
and their practice teams.
Table of Contents
Impermeable, sterile, single-use latex, nitrile, or vinyl gloves of appropriate size for individuals
Applicable Conditions and Scenarios
Sterile gloves should be used when the primary risk is transmission of microbes to (rather than from) a particular body site or item (e.g., surgery, examination of “clean” wounds [surgical incisions, handling sterile equipment]).
Not a substitute for hand hygiene. Due to the risk of preexisting defects, puncture, or tears during use and potential contamination of the hands when removing (and of sterile gloves when putting on), hand hygiene before and after glove use remains as important as before and after patient contact when gloves are not used
Single-use disposable gowns, reusable cloth gowns, or laboratory coats that are laundered after each applicable patient contact or procedure. Clothing worn underneath must be completely covered from the wrists and waist to the collar at a minimum, depending on the size and type of patient. Use of coveralls is also an option for animals requiring extensive handling, especially on the floor.
Any scenario in which there is increased risk of hand or clothing contamination with a larger number of microbes or any number of highly virulent, resistant, or transmissible microbes, for example:
Disposable gowns and laboratory coats are typically permeable to liquids, especially with prolonged or heavy contact; therefore, additional precautions may be required to prevent microbial strike-through
Single-use disposable surgical mask along with eye protection or reusable full-face shield consisting of a stiff clear plastic sheet that covers the face from forehead to chin. Each face shield should be dedicated to a single person but should be discarded or fully reprocessed (i.e., cleaned and disinfected) if it becomes visibly contaminated or comes in contact with a contaminated surface (including used glove), and between patients.
Any scenario in which there is a significant splash risk or risk of droplet transmission, for instance:
Typically, reusable plastic goggles that wrap around the sides of the face or include side-protectors or a fullface shield
Poorly fitted eye protection can cause visibility issues from fogging or slipping.
Regular eyeglasses are not a substitute because they do not fully protect the eyes, particularly from the lateral aspect
Single-use disposable cloth or plastic boots that fit over regular footwear or reusable slip-on footwear that is easily cleaned and disinfected (e.g., rubber boots)
Any scenario in which there is suspected to be significant contamination of the floor with a high-risk substance, for example:
Disposable plastic shoe covers can create a slipping hazard if they do not have treads.
Not commonly needed in small animal practices; however, contamination of the floor must always be carefully considered because of the high degree of contact of patients and staff with the floor.
These guidelines are supported by a generous educational grantfrom Virox Animal Health™.
These guidelines were subjected to a formal peer-review process.