Guidelines call for avoidance of natural rubber latex products in health care facilities
DUBLIN, Ohio, September 12, 2007 — To meet the needs of latex-allergic and latex-sensitive individuals, Cardinal Health, a global provider of products and services that improve the safety and productivity of health care, encourages health care facilities to follow the latest guidelines from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) that call for avoidance of natural rubber latex (NRL) products.
In its Latex Guideline in the 2007 Edition of Standards, Recommended Practices and Guidelines, the AORN states: “The goals of prevention are twofold: to prevent reactions in individuals who are latex sensitized and to prevent initial sensitization of non-sensitized persons. The only effective preventive strategy at this time is latex avoidance.”
“Some companies make claims about latex-safe environments and products, but there is no clinically acceptable definition of the term ‘latex safe’,” said Dennis Streppa, Cardinal Health’s senior vice president of Gloves and Fluid Management. “The only latex-safe medical product or device is one that is manufactured without any latex. NRL products that have been deproteinised or have low-protein levels are not safe for individuals who are allergic or have been sensitized to natural rubber latex.”
While Cardinal Health manufactures NRL gloves with the lowest levels of latex protein available on the market, the company recommends synthetic products for anyone wanting to go latex free.
“We've invested in technologically-advanced methods to lower allergen content while maintaining the excellent protection provided by natural rubber latex gloves,” said Streppa. “This meets the needs of many of our customers who use latex products. “We’ve also done extensive research and development on the synthetic front. Through years of molecular engineering, we’ve created a material that mimics the properties of NRL so much that most practitioners can’t tell the difference. It’s no wonder that our Esteem® surgical gloves are the number one selling polyisoprene glove in the world.”
“The Esteem gloves feel like a second skin and there is no difference in fit or feel between Esteem and latex gloves, “ said Brenda Larkin, clinical nurse specialist for perioperative services at West Allis (Wis.) Memorial Hospital. “We worked with Cardinal Health to introduce Esteem Blue gloves as part of our move toward a latex-free unit. We are committed to the safety and well being of our patients and our staff. Moving to a latex-free environment demonstrates that commitment.”
Esteem® synthetic surgical gloves are formulated with a patented polyisoprene formulation, enabling health-care facilities to go latex free without sacrificing comfort and sensitivity during surgery. The powder-free gloves perform identically to latex gloves, with none of the protein allergens associated with NRL.
Cardinal Health also conducts seminars to instruct staff on managing latex allergy, appropriate gloving protocols and proper hand care techniques. These are supplemented with a thorough continuing education video series and regular technical and clinical publications.
About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is an $87 billion, global company serving the health-care industry with products and services that help hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies reduce costs, improve safety, productivity and profitability, and deliver better care to patients. With a focus on making supply chains more efficient, reducing hospital-acquired infections and breaking the cycle of harmful medication errors, Cardinal Health develops market-leading technologies, including Alaris®
IV pumps, Pyxis®
automated dispensing systems, MedMined™ electronic infection surveillance, VIASYS®
respiratory care products and the CareFusion™ patient identification system. The company also manufactures medical and surgical products and is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies worldwide. Ranked No. 19 on the Fortune 500 and No. 1 in its sector on Fortune's ranking of Most Admired firms, Cardinal Health employs more than 40,000 people on five continents. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com