You may have heard in passing that the FDA banned the use of powdered gloves in January 2017 due to patient and employee safety. You may have moved on thinking the use of these antiquated gloves was not an issue for you. Think you are safe? Who uses or orders powdered gloves anymore? Think again.
Powdered gloves still exist. One key will be to check existing stock, especially as your organization acquires older physician offices, surgical centers, or therapy practices. (Think high shelves in older physician offices where staff would say “I don’t know what that is up there.”) Previously privately-owned organizations may have continued to order powdered gloves or may have suffered from “we can’t throw away perfectly good stuff” syndrome. Or, as health care professionals, we are famous for having an area of expired or no longer used items on the premises for Dr. Smith’s next mission trip. (An honorable mention that results in a win in the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ category.) Finally, the other key is to remember that just because the FDA has banned the gloves for use does not mean that general stores or Materials Management or Supply Chain Management does not have access to order the powdered gloves.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO? Contact your Environment of Care Committee and individuals with responsibility for new acquisitions to ensure they search for the banned gloves. Contact Materials Management/Supply Chain Management to ensure they do not stock powdered gloves but have flagged this item as not acceptable for ordering. These actions will save you a painful Leadership citation from The Joint Commission!