Latex allergies become focus of suits by medical personnel.Health care workers who frequently wear latex gloves may develop debilitating de·bil·i·tat·ing
Causing a loss of strength or energy.
Weakening, or reducing the strength of.
Mentioned in: Stress Reduction , if not life-threatening, allergies to proteins contained in the products, a Maryland plaintiffs' attorney warns.
Robert Jenner Robert Jenner is an English hockey player with the Romford Raiders of the EPIHL. Jenner played his first senior game for the Raiders in 2000 and has progressed well since. Despite still being eligible to play for the Under-19's he was registered to play for the Raiders the previous season. , of Bethesda, Maryland, is handling several of the estimated 100 products liability cases filed nationwide involving latex-protein allergies. He said a recent medical journal reported that as many as 10 percent of health care workers--from surgeons and nurses to dentists and lab technicians--suffer from some degree of the allergy.
Reports of allergic reactions among medical personnel have been documented since the late 1970s. But Jenner said incidences have increased substantially since the 1980s, when more health care workers began wearing latex gloves as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. as a precaution against AIDS transmission.
As the demand for gloves has increased, Jenner said, manufacturers have speeded up latex production. To produce more latex faster, manufacturers have changed processing techniques, which in many cases leaves more extractable proteins in the final product. Repeated exposure to these proteins is the apparent cause of most latex allergies, Jenner said.
"Simply put, as the industry attempted to speed up the process of manufacturing gloves, the protein content increased, causing severe, irreversible allergic reactions," he said.
The most common allergic response to latex is contact dermatitis Contact Dermatitis Definition
Contact dermatitis is the name for any skin inflammation that occurs when the skin's surface comes in contact with a substance originating outside the body. There are two kinds of contact dermatitis, irritant and allergic. , which typically appears on the hands after using latex gloves. If latex exposure is stopped, the dermatitis dermatitis (dûr'mətī`tĭs), nonspecific irritation of the skin. The causative agent may be a bacterium, fungus, or parasite; it can also be a foreign substance, known as an allergen. usually fades within a few days. If exposure continues, however, the lesions may become chronic and could lead to death via an anaphylaxis--or suffocation-response.
"People have died from the allergy" Jenner said. "At the very least, affected health care providers may have to leave their jobs because they can't be exposed to latex. They could use vinyl gloves on their hands, but the air in hospitals or other medical settings is filled with latex proteins, so it's not just wearing the gloves that causes the problem."
Jenner said if chronic allergies to latex develop, the afflicted af·flict
tr.v. af·flict·ed, af·flict·ing, af·flicts
To inflict grievous physical or mental suffering on.
[Middle English afflighten, from afflight, person may become highly sensitive to any latex product. "Many people with severe allergies can't walk into toy stores or shoe stores, go to birthday parties where there are latex balloons, use condoms or diaphragms, eat in restaurants where the cooks wear rubber gloves, wear underclothes that contain elastic--the list is endless," according to fenner.
An ATLA ATLA Association of Trial Lawyers of America
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ATLA American Trial Lawyers Association
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ATLA Avatar: The Last Airbender litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. group has formed for lawyers handling cases involving latex-protein allergies. For more information, call Jenner at (301) 907-7747.