Why move to a non-latex environment?
The main reason for hospitals switching to a non-latex environment is the elimination of latex allergy adverse events, with the consequential loss of time and productivity in the event of an incident together with the cost of the treatment, should a patient or HCW develop a clinical response. The move to non-latex gloves has other advantages to consider, such as the decrease in O.R turnover time for latex-allergy patient surgery; the elimination of time and product wastage when surgery is cancelled/postponed if a patient's latex allergy is discovered at the last minuted requiring the teardown of the entire O.R. On top of this, there are some 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 occurence of latex allergic events. Having only a few dedicated theatres will help minimize such incidents but there are still risks.
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