Preventing Infection 529
Gloves protect both you and the people you help against
the spread of infection. If you do not have gloves, use clean
plastic bags to cover your hands.
Sometimes it is OK to use gloves that are clean but not
disinfected—as long as you are not reusing them. But you
should always use high-level disinfected gloves when:
• putting your hand inside the vagina during an
emergency exam before or after childbirth or abortion.
• touching broken skin.
If you do not have gloves,
you can use clean plastic
bags to cover your hands.
Using high-level disinfected gloves:
Be careful not to touch
other gloves as you
remove a pair
from the jar
When putting the
gloves on, be careful touch
not to let anything here
touch the part of the
gloves that is going to
touch the person.
do not touch
➤ If you have a pair of ‘sterile’ gloves in a package, save them for
a time when you must be especially careful not to spread infection.
If you use gloves more than one time, they should be cleaned, disinfected, and
stored following the instructions on pages 527 and 528. Always check washed gloves
for holes, and throw away any that are torn.
If possible, it is best to steam gloves rather than boil them because they can stay
in the pot they were steamed in until they are dry. If you are unable to steam gloves
and must boil them, try to dry them in the sun. You will probably have to touch them
to do this, so they will no longer be disinfected, but they will be clean. Keep them in
a clean, dry place.
If you do not have sterile gauze, use cloth dressings. Follow the instructions for
disinfection and storage on pages 527 and 528. Dry the dressings in the sun, but be sure
to keep them off the ground, and to protect them from dust, flies, and other insects.
Any items that have touched blood or body fluids (urine, stool,
semen, fluid from the bag of waters, pus) should be burned,
or disposed of carefully so that children or animals will not
find them. This includes supplies that are no longer useful but
are contaminated, such as syringes, torn gloves or gloves that
can only be used once, gauze, or cotton.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012