Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 06:46 GMT 07:46 UK
Cash hearing for allergy nurse
A nurse forced to abandon her career due to an allergy to latex is due to find out how much compensation she will receive.
Alison Dugmore, 37, gave up nursing in 1997 after experiencing asthma, skin problems and anaphylactic attacks after using hospital gloves.
Ms Dugmore, from Baglan, south Wales, won her case at the Appeal Court in London in November 2002.
A hearing begins in Cardiff on Wednesday to decide on compensation.
Ms Dugmore suffered a severe allergic reaction while working at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, in December 1997.
She also suffered from scratching and irritation due to latex gloves during her time at Singleton Hospital, also in Swansea, between 1989 - 1997.
At the time of her allergic reaction at Morriston, her sensitivity to latex had been established and she had been given vinyl gloves.
But it was enough for her to come into contact with colleagues wearing them, or even latex-laden dust, to trigger the reaction.
Ms Dugmore claimed at the time she would never be able to return to nursing unless hospitals became entirely latex-free environments.
The compensation claim was against Swansea NHS Trust and Morriston NHS Trust
Quote from Nurse Ratched
I guess I'm confused why the hospitals are deemed to be at fault? Interesting case.
The hospital is probably at fault due to subjecting the employee to constant and continual expose to latex proteins in the work environment, which in turn is considered a toxic work environment. Healthcare workers are 12%-20% (numbers are slightly different depending on what research articl you read) more likely to be dx with a latex allergy than the general public! Many people are out there and don't even know that they have it.
How do I know? I am in the middle of a nasty Workmans Comp case regarding IgE antibody mediated latex allergy. It is a life-threatening latex allergy that I will have for the rest of my like. Every exposure to latex will cause an even worse reaction. To make a long story short, I was so sick at work all of the time. I had bright red itchy hives over my entire body with raised wheals, swollen watery eyes, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, dizziness, abd. pain, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations..etc. Basically, the beginning of Anaphylactic shock. My symptoms always improved away from the hospital. My co-workers and I use to say that I was allergic to work. As it turns out, I was! A blood test finally revealed a seriously high RAST level. I was sent home immediately when the result were read. I have been examined by 3 doctor's, all have said the same thing. My condition has been caused by breathing latex proteins. The only time I am (was) around latex on a continual basis was at work.
The nurse that was awarded the money is very fortunate. Hospitals and insurance companies are not settling quite as easily. Many people that have a latex allergy (there are 4 types of latex allergies, but all of you nurses know that
) end up battling this in court for years. It is not fun.
There are a lot of websites regarding latex allergies and many support groups out there if anyone wants more information on this terrible allergy. Becoming educated about this you might prevent your allery from becoming severe or you may be able to dx a co-worker. Nobody at work ever mentioned "Maybe it is latex"...not even the MDs!
Last edit by lifeisbeautiful on Jul 3, '04
: Reason: spelling