Innate and Adaptive Immunity

Innate and Adaptive Immunity

Innate and Adaptive Immunity 150 150 Peter

Innate and Adaptive Immunity

You have been appointed to a hospital committee to investigate the pros and cons of creating a latex-free environment throughout the entire hospital.
Discussion Guidelines
Initial Post
In your initial post answer the following question:
In the process of setting priorities for your committee’s task, what pros and cons do you think carry the greatest weight? Support your answers.

Sample Paper

Creating a Latex-Free Environment in a Hospital

A late-free hospital environment suggests that medical products do not contain natural rubber latex. Latex has been extensively used in the manufacture of many medical products, including medical gloves, electrode pads, and catheter tubes, due to the durability and flexibility of the material (Critchley & Pemberton, 2021). However, the primary application of Latex in healthcare is medical gloves. The increasing campaigns on latex-free hospital environments have prompted some healthcare facilities to implement policies encouraging latex-free healthcare products.

Pros of Latex-Free Environments

Creating a Latex-free environment will reduce the incidences of latex allergy in hospitals. Natural rubber latex allergy and its adverse effects are a significant medical concern today. Products containing Latex pose severe risks to Latex-sensitive patients and healthcare workers (Henry, Icot & Jeffery, 2020). The risks include allergic reactions, ranging from dermatitis to life threatening conditions such as anaphylactic shock. Allergic reactions to Latex contribute to an increased hospital stay and the consequent increased cost of healthcare. It also contributes to high absenteeism among health workers. Therefore, creating a Latex-free environment will significantly reduce absenteeism and occupational disability costs.

Creating a Latex-free environment will significantly lower healthcare costs. This will be achieved in many dimensions. First, eliminating latex gloves will mean that the hospitals will not need to order different batches for latex allergies and those not allergic. Therefore, standardizing medical supplies such as glove types will reduce the amount and frequency of supplies purchase. It will also increase order quantities for the selected brand; thus, the hospital will enjoy economies of scale. Secondly, the reduced patient and provider latex allergy incidences will lower costs by reducing hospital stay and lost labor during absenteeism (Henry, Icot & Jeffery, 2020).  It will also minimize long-term healthcare cost because the cost of converting to a non-latex environment are lower compared to employee compensation claims for latex-related disability.

The move will also increase safety for providers. Latex has a low resistance to chemicals and solvents, so it does not provide an excellent chemical barrier. Therefore, accidents and exposure to chemicals in the work environment will be minimized.

Cons of Creating Latex-free Environment

Creating a Latex-free environment will increase hospital-acquired infections and injuries among patients and providers. This is because latex gloves have been historically preferred in healthcare for their durability and elasticity, enabling them to resist damage and puncture. Latex materials provide a high level of protection thus are considered highly effective barrier protections. They defend people not allergic to Latex against bloodborne pathogens and exposure to contaminants, drugs, infection, body fluids, and chemicals while handling patients (Jeffery, 2020).

Secondly, creating a Latex-free environment will increase incidences of medical errors, especially in surgical words. Latex gloves are very tactile and highly preferred for sensitive applications like surgery. In addition, they are highly flexible and comfortable to wear thus do not cause discomfort during medical procedures that may result in errors. Therefore, replacing latex gloves with other materials that don’t meet similar standards will increase the risk of errors.

Thirdly, creating a Latex-free environment will be costly. Latex is considered one of the most inexpensive and straightforward wear glove materials. They are cost-effective, and purchasing alternatives will be expensive. Besides, going completely latex-free will be costly because over 10,000 medical items have Latex in them within the healthcare setting (Jeffery, 2020). Furthermore, identifying latex-free alternatives is expensive and time-consuming. While there is a labeling requirement for latex products, there is no such requirement for manufacturers to label products as latex-free.

 

References

Critchley, E., & Pemberton, M. N. (2021). The use of latex and non-latex gloves and dental equipment in UK and Irish dental hospitals. British Dental Journal, 1-5. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-021-3330-3

Henry, N., Icot, R., & Jeffery, S. (2020). The benefits of latex-free gloves in the operating room environment. British Journal of Nursing29(10), 570-576. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2020.29.10.570

Jeffery, S. (2020). Considering the switch to a latex-free glove policy to safeguard staff and patients. British Journal of Nursing29(20), 1172-1176. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2020.29.20.1172