The frequency of use and duration of wearing latex gloves among hospital employees has increased due to concerns about AIDS and hepatitis.
In many countries there is increased consciousness about latex sensitization.
In the UK, the Medical Device Agency has been monitoring latex allergy for a number of years but has not found any conclusive evidence of any significant problem.
We report following a detailed questionnaire study in two hospitals in the north-west of England.
A total of 1,827 members of staff were questioned about latex allergy at work.
One hundred and twenty-four (7%) of these hospital employees had experienced symptoms strongly suggestive of latex allergy.
Of this group, 56 had a RAST test (IgE specific to latex), which was positive in seven (12.5%). There was a history of atopy in 31%, and a family history of atopy in 17% of the individuals.
As a result of the study it was found that 17% (21 of the affected individuals) had already changed their working practice by using latex-free gloves.
We were able to increase awareness of latex allergy within the hospitals.
Both individuals and health care organizations need to be aware of the problem and hospital organizations should encourage staff to seek guidance to address the problem and, if necessary, to take appropriate measures to improve working practices.
Practical guidelines are given with regard to identifying the problem and glove use for hospital staff.
Mots-clés Pascal : Exposition professionnelle, Médecine travail, Equipe soignante, Hôpital, Latex, Allergie, Gant, Enquête, Facteur risque, Sensibilisation, Symptomatologie, Toxicité, Comparaison interindividuelle, Profession, Homme, Immunopathologie
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Occupational exposure, Occupational medicine, Health care staff, Hospital, Latex, Allergy, Glove, Survey, Risk factor, Sensitization, Symptomatology, Toxicity, Interindividual comparison, Profession, Human, Immunopathology
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0032558
Code Inist : 002B03L06. Création : 31/05/1999.