Over vigilant about some of my allergies?

  1. A week or so back, I had written a note in our floors communication book asking that all who use Betadine on a pt to please be careful to not splash it on the linens, and if it is splashed on the bed linens to change them for fresh, d/t an employee with a severe allergy. Most of the time I don't let things like being referred to as a jerk get to me, because I know I have my days and take my humble pie when it's handed to me.

    I have no problem changing out sheets with tube feed or anything else splattered on them, I'd even settle for being asked to change sheets that had Betadine splattered on them, provided I'm given the heads up that it's there.

    BTW, I was helping another nurse by holding her pt over for a pulsavac treatment that included betadine in the mix. I told her before we went in of my allergy and she found a face sheild and an isolation gown for me to wear in case of splashing. The patient had her concerns which were easily allayed explaining that I was highly allergic and I preferred that neither one of us had to go to the ER if I had a reaction and we both ended up on the floor.

    My reaction to the stuff is so quick that if I see anything that funny orange-brown I will jump back as if I had seen the devil himself. I know that's a touch extreme but for me, contact with Betadine feels like contact with a hot stove and leaves what looks like a chemical burn. After this long tirade I have to ask, am I asking for too much?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hmmm - I guess it would depend on the situation. I would definitely be careful since you know about this allergy. Personally, I think asking staff to change the linens if they splash betadine on sheets is a touch overkill but if staff is willing and this is consistent with your patient care guidelines, I say go for it.

    Maybe you should go to an area that has little to no betadine contact?
  4. by   Jarnaes
    I'd say your reaction of jumping back is too dramatic. Please ease up on the the theatrics. Betadine does not penetrate latex gloves- you should still be able to change the sheets and any other patient care tasks. A you probably know, Betadine & nursing are close cousins. Good luck to you.
  5. by   Jolie
    I have a friend who experienced an anaphylactic reaction to spilled penicillin, so I understand your fear, and believe it is justified.

    Doesn't this fall under ADA protection, meaning that your employer must make reasonable accomodations to protect you from this hazard? Perhpas you should meet with your supervisor and employee health and try to devise a plan.
  6. by   wooh
    Does dried Betadine cause a reaction? I'm allergic to Chlorhexadine, but I just wear gloves when I'm around it, and once it's dry, I've never had a problem being in contact with something that got it on there.
  7. by   ayndim
    What bothers me is that another nurse had to find you a gown and face shield. I bet that causes some resentement, as you should have gotten them yourself. Otherwise, I think as long as you are doing the work, such as changing the sheets yourself when notified, there shouldn't be a problem.
  8. by   Jolie
    Quote from ayndim
    What bothers me is that another nurse had to find you a gown and face shield. I bet that causes some resentement, as you should have gotten them yourself. Otherwise, I think as long as you are doing the work, such as changing the sheets yourself when notified, there shouldn't be a problem.

    Given that the OP was helping another nurse with a procedure, it doesn't seem unreasonable that the other nurse found the protective garb.
  9. by   Altra
    Vigilance doesn't include theatrics.

    I never change linens without gloves, so I'm not sure I understand why you would ask to be exempted from this.

    I'm anaphylactically allergic to sulfa, including Silvadene cream. A few times, my co-workers have generously offered to "trade" tasks with me and apply Silvadene on one of my pts. so that I can minimize my contact with it, but I normally just double glove and do it myself. I also do not handle Bactrim tabs or mix other IV sulfa antibiotics without gloves and a protective gown.

    I'm vigilant, because I have to be. But I don't make a production out of it.
  10. by   emeraldjay
    I'll try to address all of these replies in one go. First and most important, I'm not asking to be exempted from wearing gloves to change linens, that goes without saying I hope. But wet or dry betadine does cause a rather painful rash at the point of contact, a simple heads up on what's soiled would suffice. I'm not asking for a full bed change.

    As far as the theatrics, jumping back is over the top, I agree. I equate my reaction as if I had touched a hot stove, not really the running and screaming as my original post made it out to be. Poor choice of words on my part.

    The nurse finding protective gear for me was by her choice, I would have gotten it myself and do so when I know where it is. It wasn't on my usual unit and no two units are keep stock in the same area. Yes I could have asked, but she grabbed what she thought I would need as she was collecting what she needed.

    The linen that is usually splashed is usually any of the pillow case the pt has their hand on, the top sheet, or the rolled up bath blanket also used to elevate the pt's hand. A simple "I got some betadine on the bottom sheet, can you change it?" would give me the clue not to lean againt the bed for balance doing repo.

    I added the please change the linen part after asking the shift supervisor for her advice on wording. I consider her to be more diplomatic than I am.

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