Friday, August 21, 2009

Latex and Latex Allergies

Latex GlovesLatex is a natural rubber that is used to make a wide variety of products, from common medical supplies such as disposable gloves and catheters to consumer products like certain bowling balls, balloons and articles of clothing. Some people experience allergic reactions that can be mild to severe when exposed to latex. These reactions usually occur when an allergic person comes in contact with latex, but can also be the result of inhaling powder particles that are released when a powdered latex glove is removed, for instance. Though allergies to latex are relatively uncommon, people who are allergic should take precautions to protect themselves from exposure to latex.

Some symptoms of latex allergies that may occur within approximately 48 hours of contact are:
  • Itching, swelling and redness in the area where contact with latex has occurred

  • Blisters in the affected area

  • Stuffy nose and/or sneezing

  • Coughing and/or wheezing

  • Itchy eyes

  • Breathing difficulties

  • In severe cases, anaphylactic response
Those who have an allergy to latex do not all experience the same reaction or severity of symptoms, and anyone who suspects an allergy to latex should consult with a doctor. If a reaction includes breathing difficulty or other severe symptoms, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.

Avoiding contact with latex is the best way to prevent the reactions associated with latex allergies. Fortunately, alternatives to common latex products are available. Disposable nitrile gloves are often used as a substitute for latex gloves when a medical professional or patient has a known latex allergy. Anyone with the allergy should inform nurses, doctors and dentists so that latex products can be avoided. For consumer products, checking the latex content of products prior to use is another precaution that can be taken to prevent exposure to the allergen.

About MEDNET Direct: MEDNET Direct is a leading provider of medical supplies wholesale for the medical, veterinary and dental industries. Please visit MEDNET Direct for disposable medical supplies such as disposable nitrile gloves, wound dressings, cotton tipped applicators and more.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Types of Disposable Medical Gloves

medical glove typesMedical exam gloves are integral supplies for sanitary medical care. They create a barrier between the patient and the caregiver to limit the transfer of bodily fluids and infectious matter. This helps protect both the patient and the medical professional from infection. Medical exam gloves are made of either latex, nitrile or vinyl. Below is an overview of the different types of exam gloves:

Latex gloves are the original medical exam gloves, and also the most common type used by medical professionals today. They are strong, elastic and proven to prevent the transmission of infections. Latex gloves are the thickest and most protective of the different glove types, but are not without drawbacks. Because a small percentage people are allergic to latex, disposable nitrile gloves have been developed as an alternative.

Disposable nitrile gloves are made with a synthetic latex and can be used by people with latex allergies. They are widely used in medical facilities and are known for their comfort and puncture resistance. The uses of disposable nitrile gloves go beyond the medical industry due to their resistance to many chemicals. Nitrile gloves are also used outside of the medical profession for purposes as diverse as tattooing and gardening.

Vinyl exam gloves, made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), are latex free and a secondary alternative to latex gloves. They are often used in the food service industry due to their non-reactive nature. They are also good for protecting the hands during activities such as painting and cleaning. Their lower cost and versatility make vinyl gloves the preferred choice for many non-medical applications.

Within these three main categories of exam gloves, there are a wide variety of options to consider to accommodate your needs and preferences. When shopping for disposable gloves for medical use or another application, ensure that you are purchasing the correct type of glove for your intended purpose. For more information or help choosing exam gloves or other disposable medical supplies, please call MEDNET Direct at 1-877-MEDNET-YES.

About MEDNET Direct: MEDNET Direct is a premiere source of medical supplies wholesale for hospitals, veterinary and dental offices. Please visit MEDNET Direct for medical supplies such as synthetic exam gloves, wound dressings, sterile cotton tipped applicators and more.

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