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Ansell Healthcare Prefers Use of Powder-Free Latex Gloves

Ansell , a global leader in barrier protective solutions and the developer of the GammexPF surgical gloves, a series acclaimed by professionals worldwide for its exceptional combination of protection and comfort levels, will be demonstrating its latest innovations at Arab Health, from 25th to 28th January 2010 (Booth XC35).

Committed to healthcare practitioners’ and patients’ health and safety, Ansell is promoting the use of powder-free latex gloves rather than those with cornstarch powder which are proved to be often irritant, causing dermatitis and aggravating some types of latex allergies.

Switching to powder-free gloves avoids NRL allergens sensitivity

The quality of medical gloves is paramount in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. All Ansell’s products are designed to fulfil one primary objective – simultaneous and unprecedented protection for the healthcare worker and patient alike. Combining a high level of comfort and dexterity, Ansell’s surgical and examination gloves also fulfil other requirements such as a low risk of latex allergy or contact dermatitis.

In order to avoid sensitivity and limit latex allergies, Ansell has developed powder free gloves. Often, a powder such as cornstarch is added to make it easier to slip on or remove the gloves. But, powder can link latex and chemical residues which can be aerosolised when the gloves are donned or removed. Inhalation or ingestion of these powders can lead to sensitisation and diverse allergic reactions to NRL (i.e. upper respiratory tract symptoms or eye irritation).

“We are convinced that a transition away from powdered latex gloves should decrease the chance of allergic reactions to the latex protein in healthcare workers and latex-sensitive patients. It has been documented that a decrease in IgE levels in the blood on sensitised individuals after switching from powdered to PF gloves (powder free) is observed, and new workers’ sensitization is minimised when only powder free gloves are used,”

said Werner Heintz, Ansell’s Senior Vice President and Regional Director EMEA.

No more reasons for use of powdered gloves

“Based on extensive research and the substantial evidence against the use of powdered gloves, we consider that there are no reasons for their continued use by professional healthcare workers”, said Prof. Dr. Med. Henning Allmers from the Department of Dermatology at the University of Osnabrueck (Germany).

“Proper glove selection is critical in providing patients with a safe environment and in minimizing hospital self-sensitization,” he added.

Today researchers agree that latex sensitivity could be greatly reduced by choosing powder-free, low-allergen latex gloves. Due to chlorination (which assists the donning process), powder-free examination and surgical gloves contain significantly lower amounts of allergens than powdered gloves.

“Our research (1,2) has demonstrated that the decrease of the use of powdered gloves in German hospitals has caused a virtual disappearance of new NRL-allergy cases by German healthcare workers. Hopefully the Middle-East market will also shift toward powder-free and synthetic products,” said Prof. Dr. Med. Henning Allmers.

At the Ansell booth, visitors will discover the Gammex PF (powder free) glove range in both latex and synthetic materials. The flagship of Ansell’s surgical glove offering has been embraced by healthcare workers the world over for its combination of superior protection, comfort and great sensitivity. Gammex PF is considered to be one of the safest surgical gloves on the market, with ‘undetectable’ allergen levels, according to FITkit tests.

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