WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2008) — The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council responded to Johns Hopkins Hospital´s move to make itself "latex-safe," calling it unnecessary and a possible compromise to safety at the facility.
"Johns Hopkins is spending precious health care dollars to fix something that isn´t broken," said Esah Yip, head of the MREPC´s Washington office, in a Jan. 22 press release.
A Latex Task Force at the hospital decided that switching to sterile neoprene and polyisoprene surgical gloves and nonsterile vinyl and neoprene gloves was the only sure way to protect patients and employees from allergic reactions ranging from contact dermatitis to anaphylactic shock.
Yip, however, said Johns Hopkins will spend up to 50 percent more on gloves that offer significantly less barrier protection than low-protein latex.
Vinyl examination gloves particularly concern the MREPC, because vinyl is only good for light tasks not involving blood or bodily fluids, she said.