latex allergies in ambulatory care

  1. 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 I am researching if any other clinics are going all latex or only as needed. I came from a large institution and we only had non latex PRN. Is there a new ruling I don't know about? Any help will be appreciated. By the way this is my first entry, love this forum!!
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   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.
  4. by   debbyed
    Personally I think that all health care environments should be Latex free do to the increasing numbers of patients who have Latex allergies. We have several patients that drive to the Hospital no matter how severe the emergency simply because they have severe Latex allergies and are scared to death to call a medic unit for fear that they will mistakenly use a latex product.

    In any facility that has not become Latex free you should have at least one room dedicated as a Latex free environment. None of us want to see a patient who comes to us for help with one medical problem becomming extremely ill or dying because of something we did.

    And incase you are wondering that I have over stated the danger, I have seen 4 cases in which people died from severe allergic reactions to Latex.
  5. by   Cathy RN
    What I ahve learnt at our facility that it is the powder in the gloves that distributes the latex into the air. Many of our nurses who feel they have these allergies are not testing positive on allergy testing but they know themselves the longer their stretch of shifts the more symptoms they experience. Our region is certianly reacting to the concern and we feel this is becoming a major concern. Many of our units have gone latex free and surprising they tell us that Latex free gloves are no more expensive and regular gloves so I'm not sure what you are talking about in price maybe you need to research other companies and cost compare. If it was a patient with a latex allergy we would be very cautious would we not? So why are we surprised that a Nurse who is constantly exposed to this protien does not deserve the same respect. Cost is not a factor here. Many hospitals are now going latex free as a result of this issue.
  6. by   CEN35
    we use non latex gloves, and syringes, iv supplies. we have a latex free cart.....that we charge out to patients with latex allergies. the cart has everything on it from foleys, to sterile gloves etc. the powder does spread the latex......all of our gloves are now powder free by request, then later went too non latex gloves. intresting fact? i can't remember exactly where i read this but: when one latex glove (with powder) is taken off, and it snaps there is enough latex in the air to contaminate a 15 sf area for almost an hour.
    do you realize with all the procedures and gloves on and off in the er, if i had a latex allergy, and we were using latex with powder gloves.......i would probably have an asthma attack and be history.
  7. by   ERnursie
    I too have a latex allergy. Take it from someone who has been intubated...Its NOT fun . You will be hearing about more and more latex allergies as time goes on. We also have a latex free cart in our ER. Each Pt. has their chart stamped "latex allergy" if they have one. One of our ICU nurses had an anylphylaxic reaction at work(she was three rooms down from where a baloon pump was being inserted, the powder from the latex gloves set her off as she came out of the room she was in which was as I said, three rooms away) Can you put a price on someone's life or suffering. Eat the cost and stay latex free or at least have ample latex free supplies.
    good luck
  8. 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 accidently posted this in the ER section instead of outpatient, I wonder if I would have had such a violent reaction there. You are right, money isn't the issue when we're dealing with human lives and I am priviledged to be able to make those decisions for my organization, I just asked for information and now I have it. Please allow questions to be asked without the assault, this is supposed to be the place to feel free to ask questions and get advice from those with more experience, that's why I asked in the first place. I will be more hesitant next time.
  9. by   CEN35
    i really don't think anybody meant to attack you...at least i didn't. money is alaways an issue...and i think in our understaffed, budgeted days.....people are getting a little burnt on the same answers we usually hear. don't be offended by anyones post....i read them.....it could be just miscommunication. the bad thing about online posts like this? you can't really figure out how some things are meant, no facial expressions, no tone, no eye contact.......you know what i mean? have a great day bug!
  10. by   ERnursie
    bugrn
    my response wasn't meant to attack you. I was just making a point about the severity of latex allergies. I guess this is a sensitive topic for me. most hospitals are(slowly) going to latex free supplies. good luck with your search. Don't get discouraged so soon.
  11. by   BugRN
    Thanks for that, I guess I got a little defensive, I've only been at this job x4 months and I had a lot to step into....Just trying to do a good job with what I've got. Grants and outside funding are not constant and hard to come by, Been in nursing long enough to know it's important to see all angles. Thanks again!
  12. by   denicke
    I have a couple of friends/colleagues who have been ER nurses for many years and who have now been dx'd with rheumatoid. One of them has a latex allergy. Does anyone have any thoughts/concerns/opinions about the number of autoimmune diseases seen in nurses?? Do you think constant exposure to latex is a contributing factor?
  13. by   CEN35
    personally......i think everything is genetic........ca/cad/heart disease/rheumatoid/lupus, high cholesteral, htn etc. when i say that though, i don't mean extremes.....like massive abstestis (spelling error there) exposre or something like that. i don't really think that the latex would be an issue.
  14. by   canoehead
    Our hospital went latex free, and the decrease in nursing report of symptoms, fewer sick days, and the goodwill built up from administration's showing concern was worth every cent of the cost. I recommend it.

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latex allergies in ambulatory care