Often, doctors and nurses have extra supplies on hand. Medical exam gloves are an important type of supplies. This is because they are used so often. You might be wondering how long medical exam gloves can be stored until they expire or aren’t considered to be good anymore. Let’s take a look at how medical exam gloves keep overtime and how long they are good for.
What are the different types of medical exam gloves?
Usually, doctors will use latex or nitrile exam gloves. There are several other types that may be used as well, such as polyvinyl chloride or neoprene.
Powdered gloves have been banned for medical use in the United States.
Do medical exam gloves expire?
In short, yes. Different types of gloves have different shelf lives. It’s important to notice that there aren’t expiration dates listed on glove boxes. Most boxes will have a manufacturer date printed on the box though.
How are medical exam glove expiration dates set or regulated?
The Food and Drug Administration has not set any guidelines for medical exam gloves and their shelf life. The same is true of surgical gloves. The shelf life guidelines come from the manufacturers.
How long is each type of medical exam glove good for?
According to MCR Medical Supply, both nitrile and latex gloves should last for four years. Keep in mind that this depends on how well you store them. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for best results! Failure to do so can result in some issues.
Additionally, you will want to see what the manufacturer suggests for storage. The manufacturer may give storage directions and a specific shelf life recommendation.
Most manufacturers will recommend somewhere around four years. Each brand and type of gloves might be different.
How should medical exam gloves be stored?
To keep your gloves in good condition, you should follow these guidelines:
- Store away from any heat and humidity.
- Keep the box sealed for as long as possible.
- Store the gloves in a cool and dark space.
- Do not expose the gloves to ozone or UV light.
If the manufacturer suggests storing the gloves differently, you should follow those suggestions. They will be more specific to the exact type of gloves being stored. When in doubt, you can even contact the manufacturer to get more information on properly storing the gloves. Again, their advice will be the most accurate for the type of gloves you have.
What are the benefits of properly storing medical exam gloves?
There are plenty of reasons to properly store your medical exam gloves. Here are a few of the top benefits that come from doing so:
- They will work properly. When medical exam gloves are stored incorrectly, they may break easily or have other problems. Storing them properly ensures that they will work properly when they need to be used.
- You will save money. If your medical exam gloves are breaking, you will have to throw them away. Over time, this will help you to save money.
- You will know that they are ready to use. If you don’t store your medical exam gloves properly, you will have to check throughout a medical exam to ensure that they have not torn anywhere. If you store them as directed, you won’t have to worry about tears and rips.
Also, both you and your patients will feel more comfortable knowing that the medical exam gloves are safe and functional.
What happens when medical exam gloves are stored beyond the recommended shelf life or not as recommended?
A number of things can go wrong if medical exam gloves are stored incorrectly. These are some of the most common issues to arise:
- They will tear easily.
- They will deteriorate.
- They will lose their flexibility.
- They will become brittle.
According to Your Glove Source, you can attempt to put on a pair of gloves that you think are normal. If they don’t rip while you’re putting them on, you can safely use them.
How should sterile surgical gloves be stored?
According to Safety and Health Magazine, sterile surgical gloves are sterile unless the packaging has been opened or damaged. Surgical gloves from years ago can still be sterile and usable as long as the packaging is completely intact.
In general, you can store sterile surgical gloves in the same way that you store medical exam gloves. By doing this, you will help to keep them in the best shape possible so that they are fully functional and safe to use.
Even though medical exam gloves don’t have expiration dates listed on them, they can go bad. It’s important to follow all manufacturer guidelines to keep your gloves in excellent and usable condition. Failure to follow the guidelines can lead to needing to buy new gloves altogether.