References

Aldlyami E, Kulkarni A, Reed MR Latex-free gloves: safer for whom?. J Arthroplasty. 2010; 25:(1)27-30 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arth.2008.10.014

Allmers H, Brehler R, Chen Z Reduction of latex aeroallergens and latex-specific IgE antibodies in sensitized workers after removal of powdered natural rubber latex gloves in a hospital. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1998; 102:(5)841-846 https://doi.org/10.1016/s0091-6749(98)70026-0

Barbara J, Santais M-C, Levy DA Immunoadjuvant properties of glove cornstarch powder in latex-induced hypersensitivity. Clin Exp Allergy. 2003; 33:(1)106-112 https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2222.2003.01573.x

Beezhold DH, Reschke JE, Allen JH Latex protein: a hidden ‘food’ allergen?. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2000; 21:(5)301-306 https://doi.org/10.2500/108854100778248214

Bernardini R, Novembre E, Lombardi E Anaphylaxis to latex after ingestion of a cream-filled doughnut contaminated with latex. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002; 110:(3)534-535 https://doi.org/10.1067/mai.2002.127799

Blizzard DJ, Bs PA, Morwood MP Risks and benefits of the different types of gloves used in the perioperative setting. Duke Orthopaedic Journal. 2017; https://doi.org/10.5005/jp-journals-10017-1074

Bousquet J, Flahault A, Vandenplas O Natural rubber latex allergy among health care workers: a systematic review of the evidence. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006; 118:(2)447-454 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2006.03.048

Chaiear N, Jindawong B, Boonsawat W Glove allergy and sensitization to natural rubber latex among nursing staff at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen, Thailand. J Med Assoc Thailand. 2006; 89:368-76

Conde-Salazar L, del-Río E, Guimaraens D, González Domingo A. Type IV allergy to rubber additives: a 10-year study of 686 cases. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993; 29:(2 Pt 1)176-180 https://doi.org/10.1016/0190-9622(93)70163-n

Crippa M, Belleri L, Mistrello G Prevention of latex allergy among health care workers: evaluation of the extractable latex protein content in different types of medical gloves. Am J Ind Med. 2003; 44:(1)24-31 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.10232

Dakin MJ, Yentis SM. Latex allergy: a strategy for management. Anaesthesia. 1998; 53:(8)774-781 https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2044.1998.00531.x

de Oliveira AC de, Gama CS. Antissepsia cirúrgica e utilização de luvas cirúrgicas como potenciais fatores de risco para contaminação transoperatória. Escola Anna Nery. 2016; 20:(2)370-377 https://doi.org/10.5935/1414-8145.20160051

Douglas R, Morton J, Czarny D, O'Hehir RE. Prevalence of IgE-mediated allergy to latex in hospital nursing staff. Aust N Z J Med. 1997; 27:(2)165-169 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.1997.tb00933.x

Dreyfus DH, Fraser B, Randolph CC. Anaphylaxis to latex in patients without identified risk factors for latex allergy. Conn Med. 2004; 68:(4)217-222

Grzybowski M, Ownby DR, Peyser PA The prevalence of anti-latex IgE antibodies among registered nurses. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996; 98:(3)535-544 https://doi.org/10.1016/s0091-6749(96)70087-8

Health Service Executive. Natural rubber latex sensitisation in health and social care. 2011. https://tinyurl.com/y8nkjrla (accessed 20 May 2020)

Health Service Executive (Republic of Ireland). HSE policy on the prevention and management of latex allergy. 2017. https://tinyurl.com/yb6tgdps (accessed 20 May 2020)

Heilman DK, Jones RT, Swanson MC, Yunginger JW. A prospective, controlled study showing that rubber gloves are the major contributor to latex aeroallergen levels in the operating room. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996; 98:(2)325-330 https://doi.org/10.1016/s0091-6749(96)70157-4

Hermesch CB, Spackman GK, Dodge WW, Salazar A. Effect of powder-free latex examination glove use on airborne powder levels in a dental school clinic. J Dent Educ. 1999; 63:(11)814-820

Holzman RS. Latex allergy: an emerging operating room problem. Anesth Analga. 1993; 76:(3)635-641 https://doi.org/10.1213/00000539-199303000–00034

Horwitz IB, Kammeyer-Mueller J, McCall BP. Workers' compensation claims related to natural rubber latex gloves among Oregon healthcare employees from 1987–1998. BMC Public Health. 2002; 2 https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-2-21

Kam PC, Lee MM, Thompson JF. Latex allergy: an emerging clinical and occupational health problem. Anaesthesia. 1997; 52:(6)570-575 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2222.1997.118-az0114.x

Koh D, Ng V, Leow Y-H, Goh CL. A study of natural rubber latex allergens in gloves used by healthcare workers in Singapore. Br J Dermatol. 2005; 153:(5)954-959 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06820.x

Lee A, Nixon R, Frowen K. Reduction of use of latex gloves in food handlers: an intervention study. Contact Derm. 2001; 44:(2)75-79 https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0536.2001.440203.x

Leung R, Ho A, Chan J Prevalence of latex allergy in hospital staff in Hong Kong. Clin Exp Allergy. 1997; 27:(2)167-174

Liss GM, Sussman GL, Deal K Latex allergy: epidemiological study of 1351 hospital workers. Occup Environ Med. 1997; 54:(5)335-342 https://doi.org/10.1136/oem.54.5.335

Mylon P, Lewis R, Carré MJ A study of clinicians' views on medical gloves and their effect on manual performance. Am J Infect Control. 2014; 42:(1)48-54 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2013.07.009

Newsom SW, Smith MO, Shaw P. A randomised trial of the durability of non-allergenic latex-free surgical gloves versus latex gloves. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1998; 80:(4)288-292

NHS Plus, Royal College of Physicians, Faculty of Occupational Medicine. Latex allergy: occupational aspects of management. A national guideline. 2008. https://tinyurl.com/y9ntujpp (accessed 20 May 2020)

Palosuo T, Mäkinen-Kiljunen S, Alenius H Measurement of natural rubber latex allergen levels in medical gloves by allergen-specific IgE-ELISA inhibition, RAST inhibition, and skin prick test. Allergy. 1998; 53:(1)59-67 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1398-9995.1998.tb03774.x

Phillips VL, Goodrich MA, Sullivan TJ. Health care worker disability due to latex allergy and asthma: a cost analysis. Am J Public Health. 1999; 89:(7)1024-1028

Porri F, Pradal M, Lemière C Association between latex sensitization and repeated latex exposure in children. Anesthesiology. 1997; 86:(3)599-602 https://doi.org/10.1097/00000542-199703000-00011

Reichman DE, Greenberg JA. Reducing surgical site infections: a review. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2009; 2:(4)212-221

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. Anaesthetic management of patients with latex allergy clinical guideline v10.0. 2019. https://tinyurl.com/y9twwm4x (accessed 20 May 2020)

Schwartz HJ. Latex: a potential hidden ‘food’ allergen in fast food restaurants. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995; 95:(1 Pt 1)139-140 https://doi.org/10.1016/s0091-6749(95)70165-6

Seaton A, Cherrie B, Turnbull J. Rubber glove asthma. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1988; 296:(6621)531-532 https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.296.6621.531-a

Shao J, Chang H, Zhu Y Incidence and risk factors for surgical site infection after open reduction and internal fixation of tibial plateau fracture: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Surg. 2017; 41:176-182 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2017.03.085

Sussma n GL, Beezhold DH, Liss G. Latex allergy: historical perspective. Methods. 2002; 27:(1)3-9 https://doi.org/10.1016/S1046-2023(02)00045-2

Taylor JS, Cassettari J, Wagner W, Helm T. Contact urticaria and anaphylaxis to latex. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989; 21:(4 Pt 2)874-877 https://doi.org/10.1016/s0190-9622(89)70271-1

Taylor M. Cost of latex device-related occupational illness, workmen's compensation and legal issues. Eur J Surg Suppl. 1997:(579)49-51

Turjanmaa K, Alenius H, Reunala T, Palosuo T. Recent developments in latex allergy. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002; 2:(5)407-412 https://doi.org/10.1097/00130832-200210000-00007

Tyler D. Disability and medical management of natural latex sensitivity claims. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002; 110:(2 Suppl)S129-136 https://doi.org/10.1067/mai.2002.125259

Verna N, Di Giampaolo L, Renzetti A Prevalence and risk factors for latex-related diseases among healthcare workers in an Italian general hospital. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2003; 33:(2)184-191

Wan K-S, Lue H-C. Latex allergy in health care workers in Taiwan: prevalence, clinical features. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2007; 80:(5)455-457 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-006-0146-z

Watts DN, Jacobs RR, Forrester B, Bartolucci A. An evaluation of the prevalence of latex sensitivity among atopic and non-atopic intensive care workers. Am J Ind Med. 1998; 34:(4)359-363 https://doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199810)34:4<359::aid-ajim9>3.0.co;2-n

Whitehouse JD, Friedman ND, Kirkland KB The impact of surgical-site infections following orthopedic surgery at a community hospital and a university hospital adverse quality of life, excess length of stay, and extra cost. Infect Control Hosp Epidemio. 2002; 23:(4)183-189 https://doi.org/10.1086/502033

Wilson J. Infection control in clinical practice, Updated 3 edn. London: Elsevier; 2019

The benefits of latex-free gloves in the operating room environment

28 May 2020
15 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 10

Abstract

Sterile protective gloves are used to reduce the risk of infection for patients and clinicians in all healthcare settings. This is particularly important in operating theatres, where surgical site infection is a common and serious complication for perioperative patients. These gloves have traditionally been made from natural rubber latex and dusted with cornstarch powder. However, frequent use of latex gloves can lead to a hypersensitivity or allergy to latex. A latex allergy causes discomfort and inconvenience, and it may reduce productivity, impose significant financial burdens and even be life threatening. There has not been sufficient evidence to ban the clinical use of latex; however, in cases of suspected latex allergy, guidelines recommend the use of either latex-free gloves or powder-free, low-protein latex gloves. The use of these alternative gloves has typically been limited to cases of allergy, because they have previously been associated with reduced dexterity and durability compared with latex gloves. This article presents four case studies, in which health professionals in a perioperative setting compare the advantages and disadvantages of using traditional latex surgical gloves with those of latex-free gloves manufactured by Cardinal Health. The findings of these case studies suggest that these latex-free gloves are equal to latex gloves in terms of establishing asepsis and providing comfort and dexterity to the wearer, without presenting the risk of developing latex sensitivity and/or allergy.

Across healthcare settings patients and clinicians are potentially exposed to a variety of microorganisms that can cause infection (Blizzard et al, 2017). This is especially the case in operating theatres, where patients undergoing surgery are particularly vulnerable to surgical site infections (SSIs). SSIs lead to poorer outcomes and increase overall morbidity and mortality in surgical patients. In some cases, SSIs can increase costs by more than 300% (Whitehouse et al, 2002; Shao et al, 2017).

SSIs are typically multifactorial, but their common causes, such as the possibility of contamination during surgery, are generally preventable. The surgical team has a responsibility to eliminate these risk factors, and reducing the risk of infections and allergic reactions among patients and health professionals remains a principal focus across the healthcare setting (Blizzard et al, 2017).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content