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Latex glove sensitivity amongst diagnostic imaging healthcare personnel: a study in Southeastern Nigeria.

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Abstract:

The paper reports a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence and type of symptoms, causal agents and awareness of latex glove reactions amongst four professional groups. The study was done at diagnostic imaging departments within ten major hospitals in Southeastern Nigeria. Radiologists/resident radiologists, radiographers, radiology nurses and darkroom technicians who were occupationally exposed to latex gloves were investigated between June and September 2006 to determine the level of latex hypersensitivity. The results show that prevalence is similar to that demonstrated elsewhere with 12.4% of individuals expressing latex associated symptoms. Symptoms included itching and redness of hands, dry cracked skin, soreness of eyes, and upper respiratory tract complaints. There are strong relationships between number of gloves used per day, duration of glove use and expression of symptoms. About 62.8% (n=76) of the respondents had previous knowledge of hypersensitivity reaction to latex gloves prior to this investigation. The paper concludes that latex hypersensitivity is a real problem amongst diagnostic imaging healthcare personnel in our locality. This preliminary work, therefore, provides the basis of a much larger controlled study in the future. African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 15 (1&2) 2008: pp. 28-33

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