A four-year prospective study to evaluate the efficacy of glove interventions in preventing natural latex sensitization in healthcare workers at two hospitals.
Kelly-KJ; Klancnik-M; Kurup-V; Barrios-Janko-C; Fink-JN; Petsonk-EL
J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003 Feb; 111(1)S2):S175
Cross-sectional studies have implicated exposure to powdered natural latex gloves in development of latex sensitization (LS) among healthcare workers (HCW). Starting in 1998 we prospectively determined the incidence of latex sensitization before and after glove interventions in HCW at two hospitals. (1) To determine the initial prevalence of LS among HCW in Hospital A (used synthetic examination gloves and powdered latex surgeon and prepackaged kit gloves) and in Hospital B (used powdered latex examination, surgeon, and prepackaged kit gloves). (2) To determine the incidence of LS before and after glove interventions. HCWs underwent initial and yearly latex skin prick testing (clone 600 IND #6365). In Hospital A, the glove intervention consisted of replacing all gloves with either powder free latex or synthetic gloves, and in Hospital B consisted of replacing all gloves with powder free latex gloves. Between 8/98 and 8/02, participating HCWs (A - 305, B -500) completed 2775 serial skin tests (A -972, B-1803). Initial prevalence of LS was A - 18/305 (5.9%) and B - 21/500 (4.2%). Prior to the glove interventions, HCWs from both hospitals developed LS (A - 2/257, B - 5/448) over 12 months, but after the glove interventions no HCW developed LS during 32 months of observation. Before the interventions, no HCWs reverted from skin test positive to negative; afterward four reverted. CONCLUSIONS: LS is associated with use of powdered latex gloves in hospitals and can be controlled by the exclusive use of powder free latex or synthetic gloves.
Health-care-personnel; Gloves; Allergic-reactions; Sensitization; Humans; Synthetic-materials
Allergy/Immunology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. AAAAI 60th Anniversary Meeting Denver, Colorado March 7 - March 12, 2003