Intravenous news: Infection Control Today report “Surgical and patient examination gloves that have cornstarch powder on them or are made of natural rubber latex should be banned because of the serious threat they pose to patients and healthcare workers, said the group Public Citizen in a petition filed late Monday with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Further, safer alternatives, such as powder-free, non-latex gloves, are readily available.
For healthcare workers, the major risk posed by the gloves is allergic reactions to latex, some of which can be serious or life-threatening. These allergic reactions can occur when healthcare workers wear latex gloves or when they inhale cornstarch powder bound to latex proteins that has been released from latex gloves worn by others. Breathing in cornstarch powder bound to latex proteins can cause acute asthma attacks and anaphylactic shock in healthcare workers sensitized to latex.
For patients, the danger is also grave. Patients can experience the same types of allergic reactions that occur in healthcare workers. Also, when cornstarch is deposited in tissues during surgery, it can promote infections, delay healing and cause inflammation, among other injuries.”