Glove reaction

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This latex allergy thing has turned into an extraordinarily serious problem.
Since the Herrn Inschpektors and the Good Managers have decided that making
health professionals run around in rubber gloves all day is the solution to
all nosocomial infection problems, about 10% of those so afflicted have
become sensitized, and many careers have been ended (though I suppose no
careers of Herrn Inschpektors and Good Managers).

There is an abundant, rapidly shifting literature about latex allergy on the
Web, with much good information, and much nonsense and quackery.

The situation has become serious enough that Johns Hopkins Hospital in
Baltimore MD (where I did most of my residency, late in the Jurassic Period)
has attempted to entirely ban latex in the hospital.

Children with spina bifida, who often require continuous urinary tract
catheterization and other intense exposure to latex. become allergic to it
something like half the time. Life threatening reactions are possible.

Nitrile rubber gloves help some people, though I think not everyone, once the
problem has developed. Nitrile rubber gloves are more expensive than latex
(since they're made in the USA rather than in rubber producing countries), so
the Good Managers don't like them - in particular, they've been most
reluctant to let pathologists have them, even though they withstand
formaldehyde exposure a great deal better than latex does. I try to use
nitrile rubber gloves in my samurai pathologist travels, but am often told
that they're reserved for the sensitized.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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