Do not use gloves as an alternative to hand hygiene with alcohol solution for performing non-biological care work, especially in the presence of a patient with multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO).

Type of practice

Other health practices

Topic Area


In everyday practice disposable gloves are used and changed inappropriately (e.g., changing sheets, food and beverage administration, administering oral medicines, patient transport, etc.). These behaviours can increase the spread of microorganisms and their consequent increased resistance. Hands are the main vehicle for contact transmission. Hand hygiene using alcohol rubbing is the most effective means of preventing its spread, and in particular with patients carrying multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO).In fact, the failure to change gloves and the lack of hand hygiene after contact with the patient poses a serious risk of infectious complications. Health education and information on rubbing hands with alcohol and the correct ways of using gloves addressed to healthcare staff, patients and caregivers is crucial in this regard.


1. World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines on hand hygiene in health care. First Global Patient Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2009.
2. Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). Guideline for isolation precautions: Preventing Transmission of infectious Agents in healthcare settings. Atlanta, CDC and Prevention, 2007.
3. Epic 2. National Evidence based guidelines for preventing healthcare associated Infection in NHS Hospital in England. London, EPIC, 2007.
4. Agenzia Sanitaria e Regionale Emilia Romagna. Memo 7 Igiene delle mani. Mongardi M, Callea E, Moro M.L. (a cura di), 2011. Disponibile da:

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.