GUIDE TO THE REACTIONS TO NATURAL RUBBER LATEX

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GUIDE TO THE REACTIONS TO NATURAL RUBBER LATEX Powered By Docstoc
					                                                     GUIDE TO THE REACTIONS TO NATURAL RUBBER LATEX

                                                                                              DELAYED TYPE                                   IMMEDIATE TYPE
           SYMPTOM                                   IRRITATION
                                                                                             HYPERSENSITIVITY                               HYPERSENSITIVITY
 Also known as:                       Irritant contact dermatitis            Type IV hypersensitivity                          Type I hypersensitivity
                                                                             (allergic contact dermatitis; chemical allergy)   (urticaria; anaphylaxis; protein allergy)
 Causative agent:                     insufficient hand rinsing,             accelerators:                                     proteins from the Hevea braziliensis (rubber
                                      disinfectants,                         (thiurams, carbamates, mercaptobenzothiazole),    tree)
                                      glove powder, surfacants,              antioxidants (BHA, BHT), antiozonates,
                                      pH extremes, amino derivatives,        preservatives (eg. formaldehyde)
                                      preservatives (eg. formaldehyde)
 Approximate % of population          100%                                   7-18%                                             general population:          0.8%
 vulnerable:                                                                                                                   hospital population:         3-5% (non-
                                                                                                                               surgical)
                                                                                                                                                            7-12% (surgical)
 Time to onset of symptoms:           minutes to hours                       6 to 48 hours                                     minutes to 1 hour
 Initial sensory reaction:            itch or burn                           itching first; continuing to pain                 itching, tingling
 Dermal reactions          acute:     red, scalded appearance, swelling      red appearance; small blisters                    urticaria (pink raised hives, often blanched in
                                                                                                                               the center), swelling

                          chronic:
                                      dry thickened skin; crusting;          dry, thickened skin; crusting; scabbing sores;    urticaria (same as above except more
                                      fissures (cracks in skin);             papules; peeling; vesicles                        extensive)
                                      scabbing sores; papules; peeling
 Boundaries of the reaction:          sharp, definite reaction: limited to   undefined: reaction may move up the arm           undefined: may affect any part of the body
                                      area of glove contact                                                                    beyond area of glove contact
 Predisposition:                      no                                     yes                                               yes
 (history of allergies)
 Potential for respiratory            no                                     no                                                runny nose, wheezing, difficulty breathing
 involvement
 Potential for facial                 only if face is touched                only if face is touched                           swelling of eyelids, lips, face; tearing, itchy
 involvement:                                                                                                                  eyes; runny nose
 Potential for systemic               no                                     no                                                hives, facial swelling, runny nose, nausea,
 involvement                                                                                                                   abdominal cramps, rapid heart rate, difficulty
                                                                                                                               breathing, low blood pressure, anaphylactic
                                                                                                                               shock
 How acquired:                        skin contact                           skin contact                                      skin/mucous membrane contact; invasive
                                                                                                                               procedures; injection; aerosolized allergen
                                                                                                                               (eg. on powder)
 Potentially life threatening?        no                                     no                                                yes
 Treatment:                           try another lot number or switch       switch to latex glove proven/documented low in    switch to a non-latex or proven documented
                                      glove brand; anti-inflammatory         chemical contact sensitizers; anti-inflammatory   low-protein allergen latex glove only under
                                      creams may help                        cream may help - see a dermatologist              guidance of physician - see an allergist
Information provided by Safeskin Corporation at 1-800-462-9989