Method for sanitizing medical equipment using microwaves

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A skin-contacting coating of a lubricating hydrogel polymer bonded to a rubber article (such as a surgeon's glove) is treated by means of surfactant material (such as a bactericidal cationic surfactant which preferably has an N-hexadecyl group) or a long chain fatty amine so as to substantially improve the lubricity of the coating with respect to damp skin. The hydrogel polymer is preferably a copolymer of 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA) with methacrylic acid (MAA) or with 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (EHA) or with both MAA and EHA. The copolymer contains HEMA and MAA is a molar ratio of 1 to 10:1 of HEMA and EHA in a molar ratio of 2.5 to 10:1. Such a hydrogel polymer has improved lubricity to dry skin and, if used for this purpose, need not be treated with a surfactant or fatty amine to improve the lubricity with respect to damp skin.

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