Hospitals are choosing to switch to a latex-free environment to eliminate the risk of latex allergy adverse events. This is in response to the consequential loss of time and productivity if an incident together with the cost of the treatment, should a patient or HCW develop a clinical reaction. The move to non-latex gloves has other advantages to consider, such as the elimination of time and product wastage when surgery is cancelled or postponed if a patient's latex allergy is discovered at the last minute requiring the teardown of the entire O.R. On top of this. There are also logistical advantages for the hospital, such as the consolidation of glove lines; more space available in the O.R storage; and more simplified ordering. Finally, the complete elimination of latex will bring other savings such as the time needed to create protocols and procedures without using latex; training teams; and the reduced risk of litigation should any adverse incidents occur.
Full hospital conversion is the only way to minimize the occurrence of latex allergic events and make the facility truly latex-safe. Having only a few dedicated theatres will help minimize such incidents but there are still risks.
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