JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A lot of Mississippians have taken to wearing nitrile or latex gloves to battle against the spread of the coronavirus.
Medical professionals say, however, the gloves won’t save you if you don’t wear them right.
“I think the common misconception right now is that everyone can put on gloves and they think they’re isolated and fine," said Corey Riley, area manger for ASAP Ambulance for Copiah, Claiborne, and Jefferson County. "But the problem with that is they’re putting on one set of gloves and they’re leaving them on for the duration of being out in the public or all day. Some cases you know. And never changing them out, so everything they touch is cross contaminated.”
Riley, like other medical professionals, has watched people who were never trained in how to use surgical gloves basically… waste a lot of gloves.
"Some of them may be leaving those gloves all day. They go in the supermarket, push the buggy around, touch the fruit, different things, canned goods, same stuff that other people have been handling all day long. Then they get back in the car and touch the steering wheel,” Riley said.
There’s an old first responder trick, medical personnel say. Double up your gloves and wear layers, so you can go from one task to another.
“And what that does is it just kinda keeps you from a less likely chance of cross contaminating the space that you’re in if you keep changing them out,” said Dustin Lucas, who works at Copiah County Emergency Operations Center and is also an EMT and firefighter.
Like Riley, Lucas says that in the field they change gloves for every situation, after every patient, before they get behind the wheel. Civilians protecting against the coronavirus should do that and more.
“The biggest thing is after you take them off, wash your hands. Wash your hands before you put them on and after you take them off,” he said.