The effect of a transition to powder-free latex gloves on workers' compensation claims for latex-related illness

Dermatitis. Nov-Dec 2008;19(6):316-8.

Abstract

Background: Adverse reactions to natural rubber latex gloves are an important cause of workers' compensation claims among health care personnel. In an effort to reduce latex-related illness, our institution transitioned to powder-free latex gloves in 2001.

Objective: To examine the effect of this transition on the number of workers' compensation claims for latex-related illness.

Methods: A review of claims data from 1997 to 2005 was conducted.

Results: The incidence of claims for latex-related illness was significantly lower following the switch to powder-free gloves.

Conclusions: The switch to powder-free latex gloves was associated with a significant decrease in workers' compensation claims for latex-related illness. The cost of gloves increased but was partially offset by a decrease in workers' compensation payments and operating room expenses.

MeSH terms

  • Gloves, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / economics*
  • Occupational Diseases / economics*
  • Powders
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data*

Substances

  • Powders