Identification of High Risk Patients

The hospital staff should take careful note of how to deal with people who are at higher risk of latex allergies. To begin, meticulous notes should be taken to account for all types of reactions to latex. Material should be documented from medical products to even goods found in the home. Symptoms should also be noted in how each patient reacts in the presence of latex. As high-risk patients are identified, the medical history should be examined to localize reactions caused by the latex condition. Past reactions should be studied to maximize safety of admitted patients.

Action of health care facilities

For patients that suffer from latex allergies, special care should be taken in preparing rooms and areas to ensure environment is latex-safe. This includes all medical facilities where risk is highest. Creating a safe environment will require using medical equipment and supplies that are non-latex and this includes medical examination gloves physicians and nurses use. It is important to note that there are many products that utilize latex today and continued studies occur to see how specific products react with latex sensitive patients.

As always, medical professionals should always have the choice of utilizing latex-free alternatives. This is because health care staff members are more likely to develop sensitivity to latex allergies because of their increased exposure to certain products like latex exam gloves. In addition, hospitals must anticipate any patients who are sensitive to latex and adjust accordingly. Especially in emergency rooms, doctors and nurses must have quick access to latex-free medical gloves in the event a latex allergic patient is admitted.

If latex products are used within a working environment, an effort should be made to use products that have low levels of protein.  The protein within latex material cause symptoms of contact dermatitis and by minimizing protein levels, risks are lowered.  However, it is ideal to introduce alternative products that do not contain latex.

Guideline for handling patients

There are certain medical conditions that increase the risks of contact with latex.  This is especially true for PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and NICU (Natal Intensive Care Unit) where babies and children are more susceptible to concerns of latex sensitivity. Patients with spina bifida are known to have higher risk and use of latex products around such patients should be prohibited. Since the degree of how patients will react to latex will vary, it is import to identify all patients who are reported to be allergic and ensure all health care staff members are aware of markers give.

Latex-safe rooms are important for patients with reported sensitivity because this makes identifying cautions easy. Nurses should know to use only latex-free medical gloves. This applies to OR as surgeons must don latex-free gloves. Setting guidelines on how to treat latex sensitive patients is important so everyone understands the correct procedure. It is the responsibility of every hospital facility to protect latex sensitive patients that are admitted.

Guideline for dealing with Latex allergy at work

17% of health care workers are ported to have latex allergies versus 6% of the general population. Personal and institutional costs associated with latex allergies are considerable, so health care facilities must take preemptive measure to manage latex use. New employees must fully disclose concerns associated to contact with latex products and hospitals must disclose what products and equipment have latex material. HR departments within hospitals typically include questions of latex sensitivity prior to employment.

It is recommended for health care professionals to receive testing for latex allergies especially if symptoms occur. This is to ensure allergic reactions do not progress into a serious condition.


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