The Allergic Hands of Health Care

Latex comes from the rubber tree and a host of chemicals are used in curing it so that it may be made into many products that are used everyday. It has recently been discovered that a lot of people are allergic to latex. “It is estimated by the CDC that 1 – 6 percent of Americans will have some type of allergic reaction when they come in contact with latex” (Ray 1). Meaning having some kind of redness, hives or some reaction not normally experienced by coming in contact with latex. Changing the use of latex in the medical field would make a world of difference. Latex gloves should not be used in the medical field. Not allowing latex gloves in the medical field would create less damage. The damage done by latex is greatest in the fields of medicine and dentistry. Latex can be found in hospital offices, medical equipment and surgical and exam gloves. Latex balloons are also to blame for many of the allergic reactions experienced by the 1 – 6 percent of allergic Americans. The allergens that could cause a potentially life threatening reaction can be inhaled simply by being near the balloons. The risk of becoming allergic to latex increases when people are in contact with it on a regular basis as are workers in the medical and dental fields. “The 1 “? 6 percent of allergic persons jumps to 12 – 18 percent” (Wilson 1). This comes in to affect when the allergic person is around the latex constantly. The American Nurses Association 1997 position statement on latex says, “Latex allergy is a serious medical problem for a growing number of patients and a disabling occupational disease among health care workers. There is no treatment for latex allergy except complete avoidance of latex” (3, footnote 12 and 21). Which for the people in the health care field quitting their jobs or being very careful in the latex environment are the two possible things to do. The use of latex gloves has been slowly falling in the medical industries, d…

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