eczema and latex allergy

  1. Hi,

    I am going to be a nurse student and I have eczema on my hands, which put me at risk of developing latex allergy. I am wondering if it is a good practice to double glove with cotton gloves underneath and then put latex gloves on when there are only latex gloves available? Also, if I want to be an OR nurse, is it going to be a problem for me if I do not want to wear latex gloves? Thanks for your input
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    About gorgor

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 5

    16 Comments

  3. by   Cilantrophobe
    Quote from gorgor
    Hi,

    I am going to be a nurse student and I have eczema on my hands, which put me at risk of developing latex allergy. I am wondering if it is a good practice to double glove with cotton gloves underneath and then put latex gloves on when there are only latex gloves available? Also, if I want to be an OR nurse, is it going to be a problem for me if I do not want to wear latex gloves? Thanks for your input
    Sorry this doesn't answer your question but I have a question to add. What is done when the patient has a latex allergy? I would think a RN at risk for a latex allergy would follow the same guidelines as would the entire OR working on a patient with a latex allergy.
  4. by   beth66335
    A lot of hospitals are starting to do away with latex, and those that haven't yet have made accommodations for patients and nurses with latex allergy. They have non-latex gloves and if I were you I would just grab a box of your size from the supply room when you got on the floor and keep them nearby to refill your pockets. You should have no problem finding safe gloves to use.
  5. by   gorgor
    Thanks for the reply. However, I heard that latex gloves are better for palpating (ex finding vein) than other gloves. Is it true?
  6. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from gorgor
    Thanks for the reply. However, I heard that latex gloves are better for palpating (ex finding vein) than other gloves. Is it true?
    They're better than vinyl gloves....but I think Nitrile gloves are pretty comparable.

    Really, I wouldn't stress. Hospitals have to provide employees with gloves that they're not allergic to....it's an OSHA requirement.

    Peace,
    CuriousMe
  7. by   beth66335
    I can always find a vein in any glove...that is all about experience not gloves. Also,I don't wear gloves to find a vein unless the pt is in isolation. I find the vein with my bare fingers and then glove up and clean the site. You don't need gloves unless you are going to contact a body fluid.
  8. by   Do-over
    I haven't even seen a latex glove in the hospitals since I started nursing school last August. The sterile gloves we got in foundations lab for practice were latex, but the instructor gave non-latex gloves to those that needed them (I also have eczema on the hands)...

    The cotton gloves would defeat the purpose of universal precautions anyway - you need a clean pair for each patient contact requiring gloves, right?
  9. by   melmarie23
    I'd check and see if your facility has polyurethane or nitrile gloves. If they dont, maybe they have powder free latex, which are less irritating.
  10. by   gorgor
    Thanks Do-over and melmarie23. I was thinking the cotton gloves idea is that good. Good to know that the hospitals will provide non-latex gloves, both sterile and non-sterile.
  11. by   Daytonite
    Quote from gorgor
    Hi,

    I am going to be a nurse student and I have eczema on my hands, which put me at risk of developing latex allergy. I am wondering if it is a good practice to double glove with cotton gloves underneath and then put latex gloves on when there are only latex gloves available? Also, if I want to be an OR nurse, is it going to be a problem for me if I do not want to wear latex gloves? Thanks for your input
    You need to be asking your doctor these questions or have him refer you to an allergist who can answer them for you.
  12. by   Charisse
    I am a retired (d/t latex allergy) Labor and Delivery RN. I would suggest that you ask for (and get) non-latex gloves. Nitrile tends to be stronger than the vinyl ones I have worn. First of all, I agree with the poster who said that finding veins is relies more on experience than type of glove worn. Latex gloves fit more tightly, in most cases, and may be thinner than other gloves, but experience will make those differences moot. Find the vein without gloves on and put the gloves on when you are ready to start the IV or take blood. There should be sterile and non-sterile non-latex gloves available for anyone in the OR, whether she is circulating or scrubbing. If not, and you choose OR nursing, ask for them and use them.

    Using low-protein, no-powder latex gloves just delays the inevitable. If you do develop an allergy to latex, eventually you won't be able to use even those. Take it from someone who knows...
  13. by   Dragonnurse1
    Quote from curiousme
    they're better than vinyl gloves....but i think nitrile gloves are pretty comparable.

    really, i wouldn't stress. hospitals have to provide employees with gloves that they're not allergic to....it's an osha requirement.

    peace,
    curiousme
    really???? i hate to burst everyone's bubble but none of the above will help this student. gorgor, i am a rn, i worked in an er for 9yrs 3 months and 18 days until poof!i had a extremely bad reaction and had to quit working. now i can barely leave my house without premedicating and/or taking "moon suit".

    here are a few facts for you to consider and for others to learn.

    1. powder free does not mean that the gloves do not contain any powder, it means that the powder has been applied and the excess removed.

    2. latex proteins adhere to the powder and when the gloves are pulled off the latex is then scattered throughout the room, floor or unit and then pulled into the air system to be blown back all over the hospital.

    3. handling items in the area when not caring directly for a patient will expose your hands to the same proteins that are present in the gloves.

    4. if a latex-allergic patient has to go to surgery they are slated as the first patient of the day, they are held in an isolation/latex-free room, all supplies are ordered special for that specific patient. and we get a little extra med before anything else is done.

    5. cotton gloves will not work as the latex proteins are smaller than the weave of the gloves and pass through very easily.

    request nitrile gloves, they are one of the best alternatives. i have used them many times. as far as starting ivs, most all of my colleges in the er did the same as i did, we pulled the tip off one finger and used that finger to find veins. unless, of course, you could drive a mac truck through the vein, then you did not have to hunt for one.

    do not let anyone try to tell you that you cannot :angryfirebe allergic to latex or neoprene, it is very possible. also if you have problems with latex gloves start watching your diet as there are many cross-reactive items in the food world.

    the latex allergy forum is a group on yahoo where latex allergic people exchange ideas, stories and much information about the allergy.:typing there are members literally from around the world that all come for support and info. check it out. i do not know where you live but you best start looking for an allergist that knows about latex allergies because if you do not have one lined up and you have a severe reaction you may have a very difficult time.

    good luck
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on May 26, '09 : Reason: pm to member
  14. by   Charisse
    Let's first remember that the original poster, to date, "only" has eczema--not Type IV, or Type I latex allergy, yet. She may never develop either, although the eczema makes it more of a possibility in the future (which she already knows). Many are posting here as if she already has Type IV latex allergy.

    It probably would be better (note: better) for her to use low-protein, no-powder latex gloves than the powdered ones, if that is the ONLY choice for her. It would be best if she would avoid that altogether and, from the get-go, use nitrile, vinyl or some other non-latex glove while working and in school--just because she would be more prone to acquire the allergy due to the broken skin integrity. If she gets to clinical or work and non-latex gloves are not available to her, she needs to ask firmly for them on day one.

    Now, if she already had a bona fide Type IV/Type I latex allergy, then working around latex gloves and equipment would not be in her best interest. Her allergy, as those of us already know, probably would gradually worsen over time and possibly cost her her job. The promising thing is that more and more healthcare workplaces are becoming latex-safe, albeit slowly.

    Personally, as for me, I tell all nursing school grads, students, and people thinking of going to nursing school (as well as established nurses) to look for work in a latex-safe setting. Having to live with this allergy is the pits. It changes all aspects of your life. To tell you the truth, I would never have gone into nursing if I had known this was going to happen to me.

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