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From: "Howard McCollister" <>
Subject: Re: Colored gloves
Date: 22 Aug 2004 15:49:56 -0500
Message-ID: <4128fa76$0$79949$>

"Carey Gregory" <> wrote in message
> "Howard McCollister" <> wrote:
> >I hate vinyl gloves, hate nitrile even more. The exam gloves I use are
> >green, but they're latex. One of the hospitals here decided with much
> >public fanfare that they were going to become a "latex-free hospital".
> >We spent weeks trialing a wide variety of non-latex surgical gloves,
> >but ultimately all the surgeons rebelled and that hospital had to be
> >satisfied with just advertising that mylar balloons were the only kind
> >of balloons allowed.
> Outside of the emergency dept, I don't see why latex should be that big
> of an issue.  You'll almost always know in advance if a pt is sensitive
> to latex, so plenty of time to plan for it.  But in EMS and the
> emergency dept, it's a different story.  You usually don't know anything
> about the pt in advance, so non-latex is pretty much mandatory.
> Actually, I see more medical providers with latex allergies than anyone
> else.  Saw an article about that a while back.  Apparently back in the
> 1980s and early 1990s they used powdered latex as the powder in the
> gloves.  It was very easily inhaled and ingested, so a lot of providers
> developed allergies from the chronic exposure.  I know a couple of
> paramedics who developed latex allergies they didn't start out with.

Yes, I agree that it's much more common for health care providers to develop
latex allergies due to chronic exposure and it seems to be the powder that
is the culprit primarily. Some of the surgeons here use BioGel gloves as a
solution. They're more expensive, but seem to take care of the problem

The whole "latex free hospital" concept, especially as an advertising
gambit, is excessive IMHO. Drug allergies, including anaphylaxis, are a much
more common patient care issue, yet I never see hospitals advertising
themselves as being "penicillin-free hospitals. There's an element of
"political correctness" to the concept that gives me a pain.

I feel the same way about cell phones. I was talking on a cell phone as I
was walking into one of our hospitals and was observed on a video monitor.
Someone came running out literally yelling at me to turn it off. This, as
opposed to one of our other hospitals where we use cell phones (Sprint) text
messaging, voice, push-to-talk and/or email in place of beepers.


From: "Howard McCollister" <>
Subject: Re: Colored gloves
Date: 23 Aug 2004 21:49:31 -0500
Message-ID: <412aabfe$0$61958$>

"Daniel Prince" <> wrote in message

> What do you and the surgeons dislike about non-latex gloves?  Is it that
> they are less elastic or is it that they are not what you are accustomed
> to?

They are thicker, not as flexible, and more slippery. They are noticeably
less sensitive than latex gloves. Ask yourself what you would want in a

You would think that in this day of advanced polymer design that they could
come up with something better than latex for these kinds of tactile
applications, but they haven't so far.


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