Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink

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What to expect after latex allergy in health care?

Although their quality of life gets much better after removal of latex exposure, nearly half had to change jobs….

In this study 29 HCW with a type 1 allergy to latex participated in follow-up research. All individuals reported a significant improvement of symptoms once latex was removed from their working environment.

Of those that reported skin complaints, 83% reported that their skin no longer had an impact on their quality of life (QOL) once latex was removed. Over 90% (n = 26) of all participants stated that their eye/nose symptoms had no longer an impact on their QOL and 86% (n = 25) of all participants stated that their respiratory symptoms had no impact on their QOL following the removal of latex from their working environment.

Overall, 45% of the respondents had changed jobs: 61% of this group changed to a completely nonclinical post.

Quality of life in health care workers with latex allergy
Power, S., Gallagher, J., Meaney, S.
Occupational Medicine 2010 60(1):62-65; doi:10.1093/occmed/kqp156

Background: Exposure to latex gloves and glove powder makes health care workers (HCWs) particularly susceptible to developing an allergy to latex.

Aims:  To assess the impact on the quality of life (QOL) of HCWs who are allergic to latex products before removal from latex exposure and after removal from exposure.

Methods:  We studied 39 latex allergic HCWs from the Health & Safety Executive south area. Twenty-nine attended for an assessment with the occupational physician and were asked to fill out a questionnaire. Spirometry, immunoglobulin E levels and latex radioallergosorbent test levels were measured.

Results: In total, 29/39 (74%) of patients responded. All of the participants had a type 1 allergy to latex. All individuals reported a significant improvement of symptoms once latex was removed from their working environment. Of those that reported skin complaints, 83% reported that their skin no longer had an impact on their QOL once latex was removed. Over 90% (n = 26) of all participants stated that their eye/nose symptoms had no longer an impact on their QOL and 86% (n = 25) of all participants stated that their respiratory symptoms had no impact on their QOL following the removal of latex from their working environment. Overall, 45% of the respondents had changed jobs: 61% of this group changed to a completely nonclinical post.

Conclusions: On average, 86% of latex allergic HCWs reported that their QOL had improved significantly since their removal from latex. In employees who are latex allergic/sensitized, taking latex avoidance measures results in cessation or diminution of symptoms.

Filed under: Allergies, Chemical agents, , ,

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