Medical Devices

Medical Gloves and Gowns

On this page:


About medical gloves

Medical gloves are disposable gloves used during medical procedures. Medical gloves help prevent contamination between caregivers and patients. Some are designed to prevent contact with certain chemotherapy drugs.

Medical gloves include examination gloves, surgical gloves, and medical gloves for handling chemotherapy agents (chemotherapy gloves). These gloves are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA makes sure that manufacturers of these devices meet performance criteria such as leak resistance, tear resistance, etc.

Back to Top Arrow


When to use medical gloves

Use medical gloves when your hands or nails may touch someone else’s body fluids (such as blood, respiratory secretions, vomit, urine or feces) or certain hazardous drugs.

Back to Top Arrow


What you should know before using medical gloves

  • Wash your hands before putting on sterile gloves.
  • Make sure your gloves fit properly for you to wear them comfortably during all patient care activities.
  • Some people are allergic to the natural rubber latex used in some medical gloves. FDA requires manufacturers to identify on the package labeling the materials used to make the gloves. If you are allergic to natural rubber latex, you should choose gloves made from other synthetic materials (such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nitirole, or polyurethane).
  • Be aware that sharp objects can puncture medical gloves.
  • Always change your gloves if they rip or tear.
  • After removing gloves, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Never reuse medical gloves.
  • Never wash or disinfect medical gloves.
  • Never share medical gloves with other users.

Back to Top Arrow


About surgical gowns

Surgical gowns are garments worn during medical procedures. Gowns help prevent contamination between caregivers and patients, and they protect the caregiver's clothing.

You should consider using a surgical gown to cover your trunk, arms, legs, and clothing when you may be splattered by someone else’s body fluids (such as blood, respiratory secretions, vomit, urine or feces).

Surgical gowns, which also include isolation gowns, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA makes sure that manufacturers of these devices meet performance criteria such as penetration resistance and tear resistance.

Back to Top Arrow

Page Last Updated: 06/04/2014
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.