latex allergies in ambulatory care - page 2

I am the new RN Manager in a Family Planning Clinic, We only have latex free products here per the last manager's request. We have one staff member w/ an allergy, but no others. This is expensive and... Read More

  1. by   ALISHAJO
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by BugRN
    Whoa!!! All I wanted was information, I didn't expect to be attacked. I didn't realize the allergic response was so great! I looked to those nurses with the expertise to give me info, not attack me! I am a nurse manager who wants the best for my staff as well as my patient's. If it means spending more money, I'm fine with that, that wasn't the point, I wanted the latest information...... I just asked for information and now I have it. I will be more hesitant next time. [/QUOTE
    I can see where you might get the wrong impression of my response, but this is an issue this is near and dear to my heart. I have had to do a lot of gripping, writing out of incident reports, taking a lot of medications and being tested for allergies. Just so you know, every time someone changes in our purchasing dept or a new/cheaper product comes along, they throw it in our cart for ER....They never ask or "remember" about the allergies. Fortunely, I have my ER manager on my side now and she follows it up. Any one who has ever had an anaphlatic reaction can understand why it would get people outraged.
    NOW THE MESSAGE I WOULD LIKE YOU TO GET FROM IT......Be strong and stand up for the importance of latex alternatives in your department for the staff (present and future) and for the patients.......
    I hear a lot about saving money at my facility all the time but there are some issues that should not be skimped on. Should we go back to washing and sterilizing gloves and suture material and needles? I don't think so. In the same way we should not go backwards in our use of nonlatex materials. Just my opinion!!!!
  2. by   bgibsonlpn
    Quote from ALISHAJO
    SPEAKING AS A RN WHO HAS LATEX ALLERGIES, ALL I CAN SAY IS SHAME ON YOU FOR YOUR STATEMENT ABOUT THE COST!!! ALSO WHAT ABOUT YOUR PATIENTS......HATE TO TELL YOU BUT LATEX ALLERGIES ARE BECOMING VERY FREQUENT AND LIFE THREATENING!!!! I HAD TO BATTLE WITH MY HOSPITAL OVER THIS SEVERAL YEARS AGO...I WROTE UP INCIDENT REPORT AFTER INCIDENT REPORT WHICH THE DIRECTOR OD NURSING HID FROM THE QA PEOPLE.....I NOW HAVE ASTHMA ATTACKS AND HIVES WITH ANY LATEX PRODUCTS, INCLUDING THE GLOVES THAT OTHER PEOPLE USE SINCE IT GETS INTO THE AIR WHEN THEY FLIP THEIR GLOVES AROUND. YOU HAVE TO OFFER AN ALTERNATIVE FOR YOUR PEOPLE...I BELIEVE THIS IS OSHA BASED. NOT TO MENTION THAT YOU COULD GET SUED.....JUST MY INPUT...I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT I LOOK OVER CLINICS AND AREAS THAT I AM IN CLOSELY NOW TO PREVENT A PROBLEM FROM HAPPENING!!!! IN MY OPINION LATEX WAS ONE OF THE WORST THINGS MADE!!!! ONE PRODUCT THAT WE DO USE IS NITRILE GLOVES OR NEOPRENE GLOVES WHICH DO WORK QUITE WELL.
    Latex Allergies
    My partner that i work with recently has an anaphylactic reaction to latex. Her reaction used to be just a skin irritation or hives but due to repeated exposure it has become worse. The facility we work at is not completely latex free although there are signs on the door saying "No latex products beyond this point". She loves her job so much that the refuses to change careers. Well the hospital has put her on suspension due to a recent reaction. What is the legality of firing her over this? and are there anyone else with this same problem with latex that might have some advice. Thanks
  3. by   CFwoman
    Here is a great link latexallergy. I think that many people take latex allergies lightly because it is really quite rare when you look at allergies in general. I know a lot of people allergic to wheat, peanuts, bee stings, but I had never even heard of a latex allergy until my diagnosis. I was so sick during my shifts at work, but I could never figure out why. I use to ask to leave early because I had extreme dizziness, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, nausea, etc., but nobody ever believed me and they were more concerned about having a Nurse on the floor than my health (the cost thing again..they would rather risk me dropping dead than get an agency RN in to cover the rest of my shift). Well, when I finally stumbled into employee health one day with all of the symptoms, plus hive and itching, they finally did a blood test. My results were off the chart and I was sent home that very minute! I am now in the middle of a nasty Work Comp case.

    This is not an allergy to be taken lightly. Latex is everywhere! On the bottom of many shoes, in rubber bands, rubber stoppers on the top of medication vials, balloons, tires, elastics in clothing, the backing to many carpets, etc. Our environment is filled with it. Like I mentioned in the latex allergy thread from Hawaii, once you are dx and sensitized to latex, every single exposure to latex causes an even more severe reaction, your body is fighting the allergy even harder. This means even minute amts. of latex in the environment could trigger anaphylactic shock. I am terrified and am basically a prisoner in my home. I can't go to restaurants, the hairdresser, I had to quit my local gym, most stores like Target, Kmart are out of the question, but even worse, I am out of a job. I carry an epi-pen at all times and have to wear an emergency allery bracelet. Latex has ruined my life.

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latex allergies in ambulatory care