Latex allergies are a growing concern in the healthcare industry1. Because the true extent of allergic sensitivity is not fully known, the concern is a priority. In a recent market research study 93 percent of surgeons and nurses in Europe have a moderate or high concern with the risk of latex allergic reaction from latex surgical gloves2.
Even though the prevalence of latex allergy in the general population is low, less than one percent, there is still a risk. Some studies show that up to six percent of the population can be latex sensitised1, 3.
- The risk percentage for healthcare professionals becoming sensitised to latex ranges from 8-17 percent3
- The prevalence rate for latex sensitivity is 65 percent in patients with spina bifida4
- The most important factor that exacerbates a person’s likelihood of being sensitised to latex allergies is the degree of exposure to latex5
Allergic sensitivity and reactions are a concern for hospitals as they can reduce efficiency:
- Unforeseen surgical and post-operative complications
- The need to tear down the entire operating theatre and replace with latex-free equipment
- Lost working hours for healthcare professionals
- Latex allergy is an important medical problem and to minimise the healthcare professionals’ and patients’ risk for allergic reactions to latex, more and more healthcare facilities use only synthetic surgical gloves
How latex is a risk and how synthetic gloves can help
Exposure is the number one factor that increases the likelihood of developing sensitivity to latex allergies5. Healthcare professionals suffer an 8 to 17 percent risk, compared to the one percent prevalence in the general public.
An increasing number of healthcare facilities choose to stock only synthetic gloves – reducing the risk for exposing latex allergic individuals, removing the need for stocking two types of gloves and leading to greater efficiencies.
Synthetic surgical gloves can:
- Prevent reactions or anaphylactic shock – for both patients and healthcare professionals
- Prevent initial sensitisation of non-sensitised persons
Synthetic surgical gloves are cost-efficient:
- Reduce unnecessary costs and suffering – post-operative complications, for instance
- Achieve higher puncture resistance with our puncture indication system6
- Standardised inventory with 100 percent latex-free equipment optimises storage facilities and removes the worry of potential allergies