Hidden Cost of Latex

Today, the cost of non-latex gloves is close to latex gloves, especially when the cost savings a non-latex environment generates is taken into account.

The main cost saving associated with the elimination of latex is the avoidance of latex allergic adverse events and the associated cost of lost time and productivity plus the cost of treatment if a patient or healthcare workers develops a clinical response. For healthcare workers, this could result in increased sick leave, which can create extra costs on agency replacement staff and employee turnover. In addition to this, there are other advantages to consider such as decreased O.R. turnover time for a latex-allergy patient surgery and the elimination of time and product wasted when surgery is cancelled/postponed if a patient’s allergy is discovered at the last minute; requiring a teardown of the O.R. There are also logistical advantages such as the consolidation of lines, simplified ordering, and more space available in the O.R. store room due to the reduced number of products required.

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  2. In the first column, input your numbers within the available boxes to populate your product costs
  3. In the second column, enter the number for each field and if the values are not relevant to your costs you can update as needed

Additional product cost of switching completely to non-latex gloves


/simple anaphylactic episode 0.00
/simple anaphylactic episode 0.00
/day of agency nurse 0.00
instance 0.00
instance (3h) 0.00

Current cost associated with latex usage


Cost Savings on Non-Latex Conversion

Total cost difference


1. Simple anaphylactic episode cost between US$5–25K (averaged to US$15K/allergic episode).
References: a. Elder JS. Latex gloves : time for a change. Journal of Urology 2006; 175: 1193-1194. b. Bollinger Me, Mudd K, Keible. A Hospital-Based Screening Program for Natural Rubber Latex Allergy Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 2002; 6: 560-567

2. Average delay time: 30 minutes. Cost estimated at $26/minute (does not include staff & other costs).
References: a. Ansell interview data on hospitals. Data on file. 2013. b. Estimates from Donna McDaniel, Director Surgical Services and Carol Miller, Peri-operative Services Educator. Face-to-face interview, June 2011. Accessed: September 2013

3. Average cost $66/h.
References: a. Ansell interview data on hospitals.