Medical gloves are gloves that one use gloves and should preferably be disposed of after just one use specially when dealing with bacterial culture or worn during surgeries. These gloves are manufactured out of various kinds of polymers including latex, nitrile rubber, vinyl and neoprene. These products are available either in the powdered or in the non-powdered form or are powdered with cornstarch to lubricate them so that it becomes easier for one to put on. Before the usage of cornstarch, tissue irritating Lycopodium powder and talc was used. After which it was discovered that even cornstarch would impede healing especially during surgeries, hence non-powdered gloves were preferred during surgeries.
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There are 2 types of medical gloves, exam gloves and surgical gloves. Surgical gloves, which are used during surgeries, are usually made to a higher standard and have more precise sizing, better precision and sensitivity, while exam gloves are available as either sterile glovers orf non-sterile gloves. Surgical gloves are always available as sterile gloves. These gloves have multiple purposes in the medical world right from surgical purposes to dental applications. These gloves are also used during commission of crimes due to their thinness and tight fit, which allows dexterity. Latex, which is used in the production of these gloves s being replaced by vinyl, nitrile rubber or neoprene, is widely used, as there is increasing rate of latex allergy among general population. Latex was used as a raw material as it was cheaper, the high grade nitrile gloves that are available nowadays is double the price of latex. This is one of the reasons, cost effective environments like hospitals have not replaced latex gloves yet.
The main factors that drive the medical drive market is the growing awareness of health and safety measures that have to be employed in order to stop spread of diseases. Patients and health medics have recognized the increasing need for gloves globally. Disposable gloves have served the medical industry for a long time in terms of hygiene maintenance, safety measures and low cost. The non powdered glove market is expected to grow at a faster rate due to its use in surgery as compared to powdered gloves which retards the healing process. The healthcare and the medical industry is growing at a fast rate thus increasing the growth of disposable gloves market as it is the staple product required in this industry. However, the prices of raw materials keep fluctuating and currency fluctuations create complications for this market.
The key segments for the medical gloves industry include North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). The U.S. is said to be largest market for disposable medical gloves while the Asia Pacific countries are known to be the fastest growing market in this sector. The developing healthcare industry is boosting the growth of these disposable gloves in the emerging countries. The fast growth in the food processing, personal care, hygiene and medical industries are the major factors that enhance the growth of these gloves in North America. Europe follows North America concerning the usage of medical disposable gloves but the rapidly growing healthcare industry in developing countries is expected to increase thus decreasing the glove market share in Europe. These segments focus mainly on the production and manufacture of non-powdered gloves as the market for powdered gloves is decreasing owing to the fact that it retards the healing process.
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The key companies profiled for the manufacture of medical disposable gloves include Ansell Healthcare, Hartalega Holdings, Supermax Corporation Berhad, Kossan Rubber Products, Rubberex and Top Glove Corporation Bhd. among others.
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