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Ban Latex Gloves

I stopped nursing due to a latex allergy and now am frightened to continue becoming a nurse practitioner.

Reading how progressive a latex can become with continued exposure has steered me away from the medical profession, even though I miss it. Latex gloves should be removed from healthcare an alternative in place to ensure safety of patients and staff. If latex is removed from healthcare settings now, this will prevent incoming healthcare staff from ever developing a latex allergy. I am advocating removing latex glove use in restaurants at present. Soon I plan to speak to hospital administrators in an effort to remove latex gloves from their hospitals and healthcare settings.

Johns Hopkins banned latex gloves after a surgeon developed a latex allergy.

Sylvia Hartness-Williams

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One Response to “Ban Latex Gloves”

  1. R.A. Says:

    July 24th, 2009 at 5:51 pm (Originally a response to Nurse Jackie episode ideas)
    I’ve been an ER Nurse for 28 years and developed anaphylactic reactions to latex. My last reaction came on in 3-4 seconds during surgery to replace my PICC. Reality would be a show depicting the elation of a woman who is finally living her dream. Reality would be getting into Flight-For-Life like she has always wanted, and flying on that bird to save lives. Reality would be her co-workers pulling her back from the edge of death after her first anaphylactic reaction that came on without warning. Reality would be realizing half of her co-workers being too ignorant to understand she could have died. Reality would be those same nurses having the unmitigated gall to say “It’s just cornstarch! Who’s allergic to cornstarch?!” Reality would be having an anaphylactic reaction in a restaurant, AFTER she has asked if they use latex gloves and being told, “No.” Reality is having to make the decision to walk away from the only career I’ve ever wanted in my life or die. Reality is being completely homebound out of fear for my life. There are over 40,000 everyday items that contain latex. Reality is meds every three hours without fail and always having epi within reach. This is my reality.

    July 29th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
    By the way, reality is the fact this did not have to happen. As stated above, there are over 40,000 items in everyday use that contain some component of latex. There is no cure for this occupational disease; therefore, the only thing an individual who has latex allergy/anaphylaxis can do is to avoid those 40,000 items! No problem, right? Give it a go on your next day off. Go to the store and find a pen with no rubber grip. Buy your son a football with no “texture” in the leather. When you visit your hair dresser (yeah, I’m old, that’s what we call them), look around at how many boxes of latex gloves are out in the open. That’s all it takes for me! I don’t have to touch them! If they are there, it’s in the air, and epi is going in my leg while we wait for the rig to arrive. It should have been like it was supposed to be, but it isn’t, and there ain’t a thing a can do about it except hold on for dear life (literally) every time another 50 ft. wave hits. I’ll ride this out and be as positive as I can, ’cause that’s the way I was raised.
    This is the time in life when I should have been able to kick back a little, having become financially secure, visiting my children and their children, finally having that brand new Tacoma, vacations (being able to travel without worrying about latex dust, where it is and what’s been touched), and the whole nine yards. Instead, I’m accounting for every single penny. I’m having nightmares of the next anaphylactic reaction, praying there are people around me who know what to do and are able to do it quickly and accurately. There are nights I go to bed wondering if I will see morning. There is no drama here, this is my life.
    For the nurses who were too ignorant (lacking the self-discipline to educate themselves or to simply listen), I would not wish this on them or anyone else.
    Be safe Nurses! If you do not have a latex allergy, go to nitrile gloves. If we can stop the allergy before it ever strikes, before any allergens to latex are developed, thereby preventing the IgE-mediated reaction and sensitivity to latex, why aren’t we doing it?! Try and get your hospital to go latex free. If Johns Hopkins can go totally latex free, so can everyone else. Yes, there are costs involved and it will increase the operating costs; however, if a little more money now saves a whole lot more in the future, NOT TO MENTION LIVES AND CAREERS, isn’t that worth it? Weigh the costs of going latex free now vs disability payments and workman’s comp in the future. Aren’t we worth it? Don’t we deserve it? We give you our blood, sweat, and tears; don’t we deserve the same loyalty from our employers?

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