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Clinical and occupational outcomes in health care workers with natural rubber latex allergy.
Bernstein D; Karnani R; Biagini R; Berstein C; Murphy K; Berendts B; Bernstein J; Bernstein I
Ann Allergy, Asthma, & Immun 2003 Feb; 90(2):209-213
There is limited information pertaining to clinical outcomes and economic consequences of natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy in health care workers (HCWs). To evaluate retrospectively health and economic outcomes in HCWs identified with NRL allergy and percutaneous reactivity to NRL. Sixty-seven HCWs with NRL allergy, confirmed by percutaneous reactivity to non-ammoniated latex (NAL) extract, were administered a detailed questionnaire to evaluate clinical and economic outcomes of active work and environmental interventions subsequent to recognition of work-related symptoms associated with NRL gloves. Diagnoses based on predetermined case definitions associated with direct or indirect exposure to NRL gloves included contact urticaria in 67 (100%); work-related rhinitis in 23; work-related asthma symptoms in 25; and work-related anaphylaxis in 4 workers. Work related symptoms reportedly resolved in 44 of 49 (90%) of NAL skin test-positive workers who had reported skin, respiratory, and/or systematic symptoms and remained in their current work area and who switched to non-NRL gloves. Four of 24 (17%) workers with work-related asthma symptoms were compelled to change employment to NRL-safe workplaces, resulting in a mean 24% reduction in annual income. Clinical outcomes in this group of HCWs with NRL allergy were favorable after institution of interventions but incurred deleterious consequences in a minority of workers.
Health-care-personnel; Allergic-reactions; Allergies; Occupational-health; Occupational-exposure; Gloves; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Pulmonary-system-disorders
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Division of Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0563, USA
Issue of Publication
Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division