I need to address black medical gloves. And I hate to say this at the risk of offending, but I equate seeing a medic with black gloves in their kit to seeing a figure eight device on a climber’s harness, i.e. “you must not have gotten the memo!”. It leaves me wanting to say “try keep up!”, but that sounds condescending and I’m too nice of a guy.
Now I can appreciate the need to look tacticool, especially when treating casualties. And blue and purple (gloves) just don’t go well with camouflage. But there is function in color when it comes to medical gloves, and regardless of how cool it might look, black puts the medic at a disadvantage. They say MultiCam and Coyote Brown are the new Black, and the great part is that Tan is now a medical glove color option. And why is that important?
Consider these factors as important when choosing medical gloves:
- Durability – most gloves are thin and are recommended to be changed every 20 minutes. I’d be very surprised if a pair made it that long in a tactical environment. All too often they rip, hence why I recommend wear two pair.
- Color – to contrast the color of blood against them to assess for bleeding.
- Cuff length – to protect your watch and uniform from getting munged up.
- Licensing – Not as big a deal in the US. In Canada gloves are considered a Class 2 Medical Device and require a Health Canada Device License.
Picture searching for bleeding, conducting a ‘wet check’ as some would say, especially in low light or through NOD’s. Then take a look at the picture below and tell me what color gloves you think is going to work best? On the left is a tan glove. On the right a black one. Both have the same amount of moulage blood on them. Which do you prefer?
CTOMS™ is switching to new thicker, longer tan colored gloves. We recommended you consider the same.