Powdered Surgical Gloves for the Safety and Comfort of Physicians

Powdered Surgical Glove Market was estimated to be valued at US$189.796 million in 2020.

Surgical gloves are used to prevent cross-contamination between caregivers and patients during clinical examination and procedures. Besides hospitals and biological laboratories, these gloves are also predominantly used in chemical and biochemical laboratories. The gloves are manufactured from a wide range of natural and artificial polymers, including nitrile rubber, neoprene, latex, and polyvinyl chloride. Latex gloves are widely used and are made from a pure natural rubber by-product known as latex. They are extracted in liquid form from rubber trees. By making a cut on a rubber tree bark, they are extracted in the form of the bright milky white-colored liquid from the trees. Post-processing, the latex liquid is then used to make gloves via specialized machines and processes. These natural rubber gloves are extremely flexible and resilient and are available in various sizes to facilitate optimal fitting to the physician's hand. These gloves are further segmented into two: Powdered and Unpowdered. As the name implies, gloves with powder are called powdered surgical gloves. Corn starch powder is frequently added to surgical gloves to reduce friction. The powder acts as a lubricant and makes it easier to wear gloves. It also helps to absorb any sweating, if any. Furthermore, wearing gloves with wet hands proves a challenge thus, in such instances, the powdered surgical gloves help make the task easier.

During the projected period, the burgeoning healthcare sector is expected to add impetus to the growth of the powdered surgical gloves market.

The growing demand for personal protective equipment, the increasing number of surgeries, and infectious cases are prime factors attributing to the market's growth. Surgical gloves serve as a barrier against disease transmission, particularly during surgical procedures. Thus, the growing number of surgeries is bound to affect the consumption of surgical gloves. According to European Union StatIstics, for instance, in 2018, at least 1.16 million cesarean sections were performed in the EU-27. Cataract surgery (ICD-9-CM codes 13.1-13.8), or the extraction of an eye's lens, was performed 4.3 million times in 2018 across the EU Member States, making it one of the most common surgical operations and procedures performed. Additionally, Cataract surgery was performed 1000 times or more per 100,000 inhabitants in 13 of the Member States, with Latvia having the highest rate at 1 656 times per 100,000 inhabitants. At the same time, Transluminal coronary angioplasties were the most common in Germany and Croatia.

At the same, the increasing prevalence of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) in hospitals across the globe is another affecting the increasing demand for proper healthcare infrastructure. HAIs or nosocomial infections are infectious diseases that patients contract while undergoing medical or surgical treatment. The prevalence of HAIs has been observed in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, ambulatory clinics, surgical centers, and long-term care facilities like surgical centers, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. According to the statistics derived by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths in hospitals in US alone per year are caused due to HAIs. Among these infections, urinary tract infections account for 32% of the overall healthcare-acquired infections. While various other infections like surgical site infections, lung infections, and bloodstream infections account for 22 percent, 15 percent, and 14 percent of HAIs, respectively. Proper application of hair covers, gloves, masks, and gowns by the service providers in the settings mentioned above is expected to lower incidences of such infections. 

Furthermore, the growing number of cancer cases is also expected to supplement the growth of surgical gloves. As safe handling of chemotherapy drugs necessitates the use of personal protective equipment, including chemotherapy gloves, for any form of direct contact with chemotherapy drugs leads to risk. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, over 18 million patients were diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Such factors are expected to contribute to the growth of the powder surgical gloves market.

During the forecast period, Asia Pacific is likely to account for a considerable proportion of the global powdered surgical market.

The global powdered surgical market landscape has been divided into five regions: Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. During the forecasted period, the Asia Pacific market is expected to hold a dominant market share. The prime growth is attributed to the changing economies in the countries like China, India, Australia, South Korea, and Japan in the regions. The growing number of research and developments along, coupled with the burgeoning healthcare industries in the region, is expected to drive the market. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, for instance, India's healthcare sector is one of the country's largest markets with over 4.7 million employees and is estimated to reach US$ 372 billion by 2022. The country's government's plan to introduce an incentive program worth US$ 6.8 billion to boost India's healthcare infrastructure is estimated to bound the market further in the country. Similarly, according to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, the Healthcare and social assistance market in the country is one of the largest markets, with over 1.8 million employees in 2021. Furthermore, the government initiatives taken by the governments in the region are further expected to propel market growth.

The complications caused by powdered gloves are anticipated to hinder the market growth.

Corn starch powder used in the powdered gloves causes surgical site infections, granulomatous peritonitis, peritoneal adhesions, as well as latex allergy. The disadvantages of powdered gloves and their adhesions in the animal models' abdominal cavity were found back in 1994. At the same time, glove powder was shown to increase tumor cell adhesion and growth. In animal models, starch particles can migrate from the vaginal to the abdominal cavity and cause postoperative adhesions. The presence of many alternatives for powder-free gloves in the market serves as a restraint for the market growth. For, they ensure not only the health of patients but also physicians and also offer quality healthcare. Furthermore, owing to the aforementioned reasons, effective in January 2017, the FDA announced the ban on powdered surgical gloves. The ban was also extended to veterinary use in animal surgery centers and veterinary clinical care. Currently, the use of powdered surgical gloves is strictly prohibited in major countries like US and UK, among a few others. 

Covid-19 Insights                       

The global pandemic had a positive influence on the powdered surgical gloves market. When treating infectious diseases, it is mandatory for healthcare providers to use personal protective equipment. Similarly, due to the onset of covid, the consumption of medical gloves drastically increased owing to the easy transmission of the disease. To avoid cross-contamination and slow down the spread of the infection, the gloves were increasingly being used not only by healthcare providers but also by the citizens when traveling to avoid contaminations. Consequently, during the pandemic, the demand for surgical gloves, including powdered surgical gloves, witnessed rapid growth.