Occupational Asthma Reference

Chaiear N, Jindawong B, Boonsawas W, Kanchanarach T, Sakunkoo P, Glove allergy and sensitization to natural rubber latex among nursing staff at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen, Thailand, Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 2006;89:368-376,


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Naesinee Chaiear, Khon Kaen University, Thailand Naesinee Chaiear

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According to studies from different countries, the prevalence of natural rubber latex (NRL) sensitization in healthcare workers ranges from 2.9 to 17%. The incidence and prevalence of sensitization and allergy to NRL in Thailand is limited to two studies. There is no study among the high risk healthcare workers.

OBJECTIVES: 1) To estimate the prevalence of natural rubber latex (NRL) glove allergy and NRL sensitization among nurses; 2) To describe its clinical symptoms.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: Included in the present study were 412 nursing and medical record staff. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect personal biodata and individual allergy histories to NRL products. Skin prick tests (SPTs) with the commercial NRL allergens; Stallergenes, S.A, Fresnes, France, and common environmental allergens, were performed. RESULTS: The questionnaire response rate was 88% (412/470), 93% females. The response rate of SPT was 72% (295/412) (95%CI 67.2, 76.0). The prevalence of NRL glove allergic symptoms and NRL sensitization was 24% (95%CI 19.9, 28.1) and 2% (95%CI 0.4, 3.6), respectively. The mostfrequently reported symptoms among the positive SPT to NRL was angioedema. Five of the six NRL sensitised subjects had had high exposure to NRL.

CONCLUSION: NRL sensitization among Thai nursing staff is less prevalent than in healthcare workers in Europe.

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