Brussels, April 7th, 2006: Ansell Healthcare Europe, a world leader in barrier protection, has issued recommendations for healthcare professionals wishing to protect themselves against contracting avian influenza, the A/H5(N1) virus. The recommendations concerning the types of gloves to select are available on line and supported through a technical help desk.
According to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) publication1, full barrier protection precautions should be used when providing care for suspected or confirmed avian influenza-infected patients with close patient contact and during aerosol-generating procedures. For health care workers providing care to avian influenza-infected patients, appropriate barrier protection, including gloves, are mandatory. As a leading provider of barrier protection to healthcare professionals, Ansell is committed to a policy of prevention and has therefore provided guidelines to healthcare organizations who wish to review their risks of exposing healthcare personnel and patients to the A/H5(N1) virus.
Ansell's precautionary recommendations for protecting against avian influenza are straightforward: PVC or vinyl gloves are not recommended because of the potentially lower barrier protection they offer. Powdered gloves should be avoided, due to the increased risk of airborne propagation of the virus. Double-gloving can be considered in order to achieve enhanced protection. And finally, procedures surrounding hand hygiene as well as donning and removal should be strictly adhered to in order to ensure maximum security for each operation or patient contact.
Ansell has selected gloves to help protect against this virus and listed them in four categories: powder free latex examination gloves; powder free synthetic examination gloves; powder free latex surgical gloves; and synthetic surgical gloves. The company has posted its complete recommendations for selecting the most appropriate gloves on their website. These can be accessed on http://www.anselleurope.com/medical/birdflu, along with a list of recommended Ansell gloves. All of the gloves on the list have been tested and passed the viral penetration test according to ASTM F1671 (resistance of materials used in protective clothing to penetration of blood-borne pathogens using Phi-X174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a test system)2. The list contains the most widespread gloves in use on the European market, and is not exhaustive.
Ansell is offering the assistance of its Technical Department through an email help desk ready to answer any questions about the suitability or the performance of the different gloves. Medical professionals are invited to submit their questions in case a doubt persists regarding the optimal level of protection offered by the glove of their choice.
1 ECDC guidelines to minimise the risk of humans acquiring highly pathogenic avian influenza from exposure to infected birds or animals
2Avian Influenza, including Influenza A (H5N1) in Humans, WHO Interim Infection Control Guideline for Health Care Facilities, 9 February 2006
Ansell Limited is a global leader in barrier protective products. With operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, Ansell employs more than 11, 000 people worldwide and holds leading positions in the natural latex and synthetic polymer glove and condom markets. Ansell operates in three main business segments: Occupational Healthcare, supplying hand protection to the industrial market; Professional Healthcare, supplying surgical and examination gloves to healthcare professionals; and Consumer Healthcare, supplying condoms and consumer hand protection. Information on Ansell and its products can be found at http://www.anselleurope.com.
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For industrial workers handling birds or bird products, recommendations are available from Ansell on the following website page:
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