Latex allergy: a life-threatening epidemic for scientists, healthcare personnel, and their patients.
Latex allergy has become a global epidemic, affecting patients, healthcare workers, and scientific personnel. Today, the incidence of latex allergy in healthcare and scientific personnel varies from 17-36%, costing billions of dollars annually to treat. Consequently, it is the purpose of this special report to describe the etiology, immunology, diagnosis, management, prevention, and litigation of cases of latex allergy. The latex allergy epidemic has been attributed to the dramatic increase in glove usage following the establishment of Universal Precautions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because of the latex allergy epidemic, every hospital and scientific research facility should institute a comprehensive emergency treatment program for latex allergic patients, latex-safe areas in their facilities, and a prevention program that includes the wide use of latex-free gloves and the absence of powdered gloves throughout these facilities.
Edlich, RF; Woodard, CR; Hill, LG; Heather, CL
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