Cardinal Health Urges Healthcare Professionals to Follow AORN Guidelines for Latex-Sensitive Individuals

DUBLIN, Ohio -- To meet the needs of latex-allergic and latex-sensitive individuals, Cardinal Health, a global provider of products and services that improve the safety and productivity of healthcare, encourages healthcare facilities to follow the latest guidelines from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) that call for avoidance of natural rubber latex (NRL) products.

In its Latex Guideline in the 2007 Edition of Standards, Recommended Practices and Guidelines, AORN states: The goals of prevention are twofold: to prevent reactions in individuals who are latex sensitized and to prevent initial sensitization of non-sensitized persons. The only effective preventive strategy at this time is latex avoidance.

Some companies make claims about latex-safe environments and products, but there is no clinically acceptable definition of the term latex safe, said Dennis Streppa, Cardinal Healths senior vice president of gloves and fluid management. The only latex-safe medical product or device is one that is manufactured without any latex. NRL products that have been deproteinised or have low-protein levels are not safe for individuals who are allergic or have been sensitized to natural rubber latex.

Cardinal Health recommends synthetic products for anyone wanting to go latex free.

We've invested in technologically-advanced methods to lower allergen content while maintaining the excellent protection provided by natural rubber latex gloves, said Streppa. This meets the needs of many of our customers who use latex products. Weve also done extensive research and development on the synthetic front. Through years of molecular engineering, weve created a material that mimics the properties of NRL so much that most practitioners cant tell the difference.

The Esteem gloves feel like a second skin and there is no difference in fit or feel between Esteem and latex gloves, said Brenda Larkin, clinical nurse specialist for perioperative services at West Allis (Wis.) Memorial Hospital. We worked with Cardinal Health to introduce Esteem Blue gloves as part of our move toward a latex-free unit. We are committed to the safety and well being of our patients and our staff. Moving to a latex-free environment demonstrates that commitment.

Esteem® synthetic surgical gloves are formulated with a patented polyisoprene formulation, enabling healthcare facilities to go latex free without sacrificing comfort and sensitivity during surgery. The powder-free gloves perform identically to latex gloves, with none of the protein allergens associated with NRL.

Cardinal Health also conducts seminars to instruct staff on managing latex allergy, appropriate gloving protocols and proper hand care techniques. These are supplemented with a thorough continuing education video series and regular technical and clinical publications.

Source: Cardinal Health