A proposal to ban most powdered medical gloves has been recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an effort to protect both clinicians and patients against numerous health threats.
The proposed ban covers both synthetic as well as natural rubber latex (NRL) powdered surgeons’ gloves as well as the absorbable powder for lubrication for both operations and patient examinations, writes Medscape Medical News.
A phase-out is already occurring in major health care systems, including the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine who have either restricted or forbidden the use of powdered gloves, according to the FDA. About 93 percent of health care providers are already using powder-free alternative options.
“This ban is about protecting patients and health care professionals from a danger they might not even be aware of,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiology. A ban was the agency’s only choice as “no change in labeling could correct the risk of illness or injury,” according to the FDA’s proposal.
The FDA documented the problems with powdered medical gloves in a 1997 report. In 2011, a label warning was proposed, but never put into effect.