Journal Article

A Review of Natural-Rubber Latex Allergy in Health Care Workers

Peter M. Ranta and Dennis R. Ownby

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 2, pages 252-256
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/380789
A Review of Natural-Rubber Latex Allergy in Health Care Workers

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This brief review of natural-rubber latex (NRL) allergy in health care workers (HCWs) includes the definition of NRL allergy and data on its epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic algorithm, management, long-term outcomes, economic impact, cost-effectiveness of changing facilities to a latex-free environment, and prevention. The data presented suggest that an individual with type I or type IV hypersensitivity to NRL should be able to continue to work in the workplace with careful evaluation and reasonable accommodations. Reducing exposure to latex is a safe and more economical alternative to complete removal of the individual from the place of employment. The use of low-allergen, nonpowdered NRL gloves substantially reduces airborne exposure to latex in most health care settings.

Journal Article.  3684 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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