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Operating Room Nurses are Concerned about Complications Associated with Powdered Gloves
Date:4/7/2008

es because the cornstarch powder contributes to delayed wound healing(ii) and postoperative complications including adhesions,(iii) granulomas,(iv) increased scar formation(v) and increased risk of infection.(vi) All of these contribute to longer hospital patient stays and increased healthcare costs. Cornstarch powder on surgical and exam gloves promotes the transfer of allergenic latex proteins.(vii) For healthcare workers, the risks of powder-related complications including respiratory symptoms and asthma, as well as hand dermatitis, all lead to latex sensitization, are major concerns. (vii) These all contribute to lost healthcare employee productivity and disability, for which the risk can be significantly decreased with the use of powder-free gloves.(ix, x)

Nearly a dozen professional healthcare organizations, including AORN, support the use of powder-free, low-protein surgical gloves, and recommend the use of latex-free glove alternatives for situations in which a latex-free solution is necessary, such as in the care of a latex-sensitive patient or for a latex-sensitive practitioner. Hospitals that have chosen powder-free, low-protein latex gloves have demonstrated reductions in latex allergies and occupational asthma. In fact, many have reported the return to work of latex-sensitive practitioners, who previously could not work.(xi)

Powder in latex gloves and latex allergies in general have continued to bring the issue of "latex-safe" vs. "latex-free" healthcare facilities to the forefront. In February, The Wall Street Journal reported on facilities aiming to become latex-free.(xii) Eliminating all latex from a healthcare environment presents unique challenges due to the number of medical products that contain latex.(xiii) It is recommended that facilities consider all latex options and the needs of the staff before making a latex-safe or latex-free decision.

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SOURCE Biogel
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