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Ansell healthcare providing guidance on medical gloves and latex allergy management

Leader in medical gloves committed to increase the level of safety of Russian healthcare professionals and their patients

Moscow, February, 21,
2011 - Ansell Healthcare, a global leader in protective solutions, analysed results of the all-Russian research* carried out by Pharmexpert center in the end of 2010. The results demonstrated that amongst Russian healthcare professionals, there are still many misunderstandings about adverse skin reactions related to the use of medical gloves. As in some cases, such misunderstandings might lead to serious health risks for users (and or patients), this is clearly a growing concern for Ansell. The company therefore confirms its commitment to provide proper guidance and counselling on all topics related.

Latex allergies and other adverse skin reactions related to the use of medical gloves

Natural Rubber Latex gloves provide excellent protection against the transmission of infectious agents and are an integral part of healthcare practice. Unfortunately, in some cases, these have been associated with skin irritations.

Some adverse skin reactions are clearly related to latex allergy. These are called the so-called Type I reaction – a reaction to residual latex proteins found in the NRL gloves.

However, not all adverse reactions are the result of a latex allergy. Other include delayed contact dermatitis (type IV reaction - a reaction to specific allergens such as chemical residues from the glove manufacture process) or general skin irritations (for ex., irritant contact dermatitis, a non-allergic reaction affecting a number of surgical and examination glove users).

Minimizing risks for Type I latex allergy reactions

In the event a healthcare worker or patient is diagnosed with Type I allergy (which is latex allergy), or in the event there is no opportunity to assess the health situation with the patient (in the event of the emergency response units or children), Ansell is recommending never to use a Natural Rubber Latex medical glove.

In these cases, a synthetic medical glove made out or polyisoprene or neoprene is the best choice.

Ansell offers synthetic variants within the Gammex® and Encore® surgical gloves range, Gammex® PF IsoDerm® , Gammex PF IsoDerm® Sensitive , Gammex® PF DermaPrene® and Encore® Ultra

Sometimes, long term exposure to NRL might lead to developing a latex allergy response. For minimizing the risk of developing such Type I allergic reactions, healthcare workers should always select NRL gloves with very low allergen protein contents (< 30 microgram per gram glove as per Modified Lowry method).

An example is the Ansell Gammex® PF surgical glove: this glove includes very low protein contents (< 30 microgram per gram of glove as per Modified Lowry method) thanks to Ansell’s P.E.A.R.L. process which is all about cleansing allergen proteins out of the gloves while manufacturing them.

Where possible, use Powder Free medical gloves

Sometimes, powder is used as a lubricant during the manufacturing of medical gloves in order to facilitate donning and to avoid gloves from sticking together. Ansell recommends the use of Powder Free gloves where possible.

There are many different reasons to avoid powdered gloves.

One very well documented consequence of the use of starch powder in gloves, and related to the above issue of latex allergy management, is its capacity to bind with natural rubber latex (NRL) protein allergens. These allergen/ protein coated powder particles can be released into the air when the gloves are donned or removed, thus contaminating the hospital environment. Inhalation or ingestion of these powders can lead to the sensitisation and diverse allergic reactions to NRL (i.e. upper respiratory tract symptoms or eye irritation).

Researchers have also shown powdered gloves to be a risk factor for post-operative wound infections. As with most foreign bodies, glove powder decreases the inoculum of bacteria required to produce abscesses, in this case being reduced by a factor of at least 10 fold. In addition, powder also delays wound healing and alters the normal reparative process while at the same time increases the wounds inflammatory response.

It is Ansell’s recommendation to all healthcare professionals to simply switch from powdered to powder free gloves, and avoid any of the above issues.

Always select high quality surgical gloves

The use of high-quality medical gloves is the best guarantee to safeguard healthcare workers and patients alike.

Ansell, a global market leader in surgical gloves, offers an extensive portfolio of powdered, powder-free and synthetic examination and surgical gloves. In hospitals, healthcare workers use Ansell’s standard surgery gloves and specialty gloves for all kinds of surgery; and the complete range of examination gloves. In non-hospital settings, the same professional gloves are used by dentists; independent nursing professionals; private practitioners; and laboratory staff.

All the advantages of medical gloves by Ansell are connected with a significant amount of research and development activities, conducted by Ansell in partnership with leading universities, world-leading technology suppliers and medical experts. And Ansell regularly shares its knowledge and experience with medical professionals: information remains the first step in prevention, the company believes.

«Being a global leader in protection solutions, we aim not only to develop and manufacture innovative products, - comments Alexandra Marchenko, Chief Consultant of Ansell Healthcare in Russia, - We also aim to share with healthcare professionals our broad experience and innovative technologies in area of personal protection. We provide Russian healthcare communities with the most up-to-date data and results of the researches. Previously we have developed the program AnsellCares, which is available to everyone, including Russian medical professionals and Ansell supported the publishing of «Medical gloves: choice and use», an up to date teaching manual which is broadly used among advanced Russian healthcare professionals. We are very committed to sustain our educational activities, in Russia and across the globe».

* The research «Main characteristics of surgical gloves in the Russian market» was conducted in November 2010 among TA - end-users (surgeons, 684) and administrations of MPIs (86). 22 large Russian cities, face-to-face interviews.

About Ansell:

Ansell is a world leader in providing superior health and safety protection solutions that enhance human well being. With operations in North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia, Ansell employs more than 10,000 people worldwide and holds leading positions in the natural latex and synthetic polymer glove and condom markets. Ansell operates in four main business segments: Medical Solutions, Industrial Solutions, New Verticals and Sexual Health & Well Being.
Information on Ansell and its products can be found at

For more information, please contact:

Wouter Piepers,
Global communications director
tel: +32 2 528 75 68

Daniya Zaynullina, Aygul Ashrafullina
tel: +7 495 967 0787

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