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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v13.i1.20
10 pages

Latex Allergy: A Life-Threatening Epidemic for Scientists, Healthcare Personnel, and Their Patients

Richard Edlich
Legacy Verified Level I Shock Trauma Center Pediatrics and Adults, Legacy Emanual Hospital; and Plastic Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, USA
Lisa G. Hill
Plastic Surgery Research Program, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia
Charles R. Woodard
Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk; Department of Plastic Surgery, Box 800376, University of Virginia Health Systems, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Cynthia L. Heather
Plastic Surgical Research Program, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia

ABSTRACT

Latex allergy has become a global epidemic, a. ecting 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.