Cathryn's Story

I am a nurse working in the operating room. After a few years of wearing powdered latex gloves I developed a dermatitis reaction and changed to non latex gloves. One day I went in to relieve another nurse. Within a few minutes, I had red welts on my face, chest and trunk. After a few more minutes, I began having trouble breathing. I went to the emergency room got a shot of epinephrine and was soon feeling better. The next day, I asked the nurse I had relieved if there was anything unusual going on in the OR the day before. He told me that because he had a problem with all the powder in the gloves, he turned them inside out when he put them on, thus literally dusting the OR with powder! I am concered about other healthcare workers who do not take latex allergic patients seriously. Some of our surgeons will say, "Oh, it is only condoms that cause the patient's problem" they don't understand that latex gloves in an open incision are the very same thing.