Healthcare Workers

Healthcare Workers
There is a large amount of airborne latex throughout hospitals, mainly due to disposable gloves. Occupational asthma from Latex has been known to be a problem for some time now and many hospitals have taken steps to reduce exposure. This includes using powder free gloves (which release less latex into the air), using non latex gloves and providing latex free wards for those that have allergy. There will still be airborne latex in hospitals (despite these measures) and even in latex free wards, due to contamination from neighbouring spaces. Nevertheless occupational asthma from latex has been declining in recent years and there are only 1 or 2 cases a year reported to the SHIELD scheme for the West Midlands, UK. The true incidence will be greater than this due to under-diagnosis and under-reporting.

The processing of X-ray films may be associated with the release of various respiratory irritants, such as sulphur dioxide, glutaraldehyde (in the past), and acetic acid. By using sealed bottles of photographic reagents and introducing them into the processor using a closed system, exposure can be considerably reduced.

Biocides, cleaning agents, acrylates, anaesthetic gases, drugs, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde can also cause occupational asthma in healthcare workers.

References

No Abstract Available for Type 1 latex allergy in healthcare workers with latex-induced contact urticaria syndrome: a follow-up study Nettis E, Colanardi MC, Ferrannini A, Type 1 latex allergy in healthcare workers with latex-induced contact urticaria syndrome: a follow-up study, Allergy, 2004;59:718-732,

No Abstract Available for Specific immunotherapy with a standardized latex extract versus placebo in allergic healthcare workers Leynadier F, Herman D, Vervloet D, Andre C, Specific immunotherapy with a standardized latex extract versus placebo in allergic healthcare workers, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2000;106:585-590,

Abstract Available for Are healthcare workers in England and Wales at increased risk of tuberculosis? Meredith SK, Watson JM, Citron KM, Cockcroft A, Darbyshire JH, Are healthcare workers in England and Wales at increased risk of tuberculosis?, Br Med J, 1996;313:522-525,

No Abstract Available for Issues in occupational health and safety. Gluteraldehyde causes nurse's asthma Anonymous, Issues in occupational health and safety. Gluteraldehyde causes nurse's asthma, Queensland Nurse, 1995;14:20-21,

Abstract Available for Latex-induced asthma in four healthcare workers in a regional hospital Valentino M, Pizzichini MA, Monaco F et al, Latex-induced asthma in four healthcare workers in a regional hospital, Occup Med (London), 1994;44:161-164,

No Abstract Available for HIV infected healthcare workers with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, 1990-1992 Valway S, Pearson ML, Ikeda R, Edlin BR, HIV infected healthcare workers with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, 1990-1992, -, 1993;:231-,

No Abstract Available for Asthma and contact urticaria from latex gloves in a hospital nurse De Zotti R, Larese F, Fiorito A, Asthma and contact urticaria from latex gloves in a hospital nurse, Brit J Industr Med, 1992;49:596-598,

Abstract Available for Development of increased airway responsiveness in two nurses performing methacholine and histamine challenge tests Lundgren R, Soderberg M, Rosenhall L, Norrman E, Development of increased airway responsiveness in two nurses performing methacholine and histamine challenge tests, Allergy, 1992;47:188-189,

No Abstract Available for Occupational asthma induced by latex in a hospital nurse (letter). Chatte M, Grange F, Prost G, Occupational asthma induced by latex in a hospital nurse (letter)., Presse Med, 1992;21:821-822,

No Abstract Available for Bronchial asthma in a paediatric nurse caused by inhaled pancreatic extracts Hayes JP, Newman Taylor AJ, Bronchial asthma in a paediatric nurse caused by inhaled pancreatic extracts, Brit J Industr Med, 1991;48:355-356,
Tony Newman Taylor, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, an author of 'Bronchial asthma in a paediatric nurse caused by inhaled pancreatic extracts'

Abstract Available for Occupational asthma in nurses due to chlorhexidine and alcohol aerosols Waclawski ER, McAlpine LG, Thomson NC, Occupational asthma in nurses due to chlorhexidine and alcohol aerosols, Br Med J, 1989;298:929-930,

Abstract Available for Occupational asthma in nurses handling psyllium Cartier A, Malo JL, Dolovich J, Occupational asthma in nurses handling psyllium, Clin Allergy, 1987;17:1-6,
André Cartier, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, an author of 'Occupational asthma in nurses handling psyllium' Jean-Luc Malo, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, an author of 'Occupational asthma in nurses handling psyllium'

No Abstract Available for Psyllium hypersensitivity, nurses and gerriatric units Schoenwetter WF, Steinberg P, Psyllium hypersensitivity, nurses and gerriatric units, Ann Intern Med, 1985;103:642-642,

No Abstract Available for Respiratory symptoms in Ispaghula-allergic nurses after oral challenge with Ispaghula suspension Machado L, Stalenheim G, Respiratory symptoms in Ispaghula-allergic nurses after oral challenge with Ispaghula suspension, Allergy, 1984;39:65-68,

No Abstract Available for Occupational allergy in nurses to a bulk laxative Machado L, Zetterstrom O, Fagerberg E, Occupational allergy in nurses to a bulk laxative, Allergy, 1979;34:51-55,

Related pages

Occupational asthma: Shield Shield
Occupational asthma: Latex Latex

Links

HSE (UK) Advice for Healthcare workers
Occupational asthma information for healthcare workers from the Health and Safety Executive (UK)

HSE - Alternatives to glutaraldehyde for endoscope sterilisation
Alternatives reviewed are other alkylating agents regarded as a medium risk for sensitisation (Peracetic acid, ortho-phthaldehyde) and oxidising agents (chlorine based or peroxygen).

Healthcare worker information on the Haz-Map Database of Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases
High risk job tasks for hospital workers

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