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Sensitive to nitrile?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by mustangsally65, 04.04.06.

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  1. mustangsally65

    mustangsally65 Sally 2.0

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    Hi guys, it's me with an embarassing question. I've been doing phlebotomy rotations at a small hospital for the past six weeks, and I've been using nitrile gloves the entire time. I don't have a latex allergy, but the lab uses nitrile to avoid patients with allergies I guess.

    Anyway, after about three weeks I noticed a rash on the back of my left hand. I figured it was just dry skin from washing my hands so much, so I put cocoa butter on it and it seemed to help but it never went away completely. For the past few days I haven't put on any moisturizer and today I when I ran my hands under warm water right after removing my gloves I could see little red welts forming near my knuckles.

    I think I'm sensitive to nitrile. I did a Google search and didn't find much about nitrile sensitivity or allergy, but the rash is worse on my left hand and that is the hand that has the glove on most of the time (I put it on my left hand and then put on the tourniquet, locate the vein with my ungloved hand, and clean with OH and then put on my right glove while the alcohol is drying). I mentioned it to my supervisor and she said I could get an approval to use latex gloves, but I'm not going to be there much longer and it's no big deal.

    Is it possible to have a reaction like this to nitrile? I'm going to be the med student carrying around a box of latex or PVC gloves while everyone else gets to use nitrile. :mad:

    Has anyone else had a problem like this with non-latex gloves? Is it going to pose a problem for me in my future medical education?
  2. Random

    Random

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    It's the first that I've heard of it but it doesn't surprise me that people are starting to have problems with non-latex gloves. From what one of the lab techs told me a couple of years ago, the majority of latex allergies are actually from chemicals in processing the latex so I wouldn't be too surprised if the same thing was happening to you. As for being the one carrying around latex or PVC gloves, I'd be really careful about doing that but if you do, but I wouldn't worry too much. The same thing happened in reverse for a lot of people when latex allergies were starting to become common. Of course now, increasing numbers of hospitals are going to non-latex so when you go to other hospitals, it might be frowned upon to be using latex gloves. As for PVC, it's not really such a great barrier (i.e. better than nothing but not by much). If I were you, I'd look into some of the other synthetics like neoprene or polyurethane.
  3. omgwtfbbq?

    omgwtfbbq? yes, really, I'm a girl

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    it sounds plausible. But i'd say almost any allergy is plausible. When I worked in a biochem lab for two years i was also struggling with a weird lowgrade illness that was like chronic fatigue, but wasn't. was like rheumatoid arthritis, but wasn't. Ultimately, it turned out I was allergic to certain solvents even at small quanities!!!!!! I would have never known if a grad student 10 years earlier hadn't passed through the lab with the same problem! This is also the reason I get so sick when i drink even a little alcohol. organic solvents and omgwtfbbq? don't mix without a mask of some sort. So sure, nitrile gloves, random solvents, i think any of its possible to have allergies to.

    Suggestion ... have you tried putting vaseline on the back of your left hand before putting on the glove? its a great barrier. A lot of my labmates used to do it to avoid getting irritated by their gloves
  4. Random

    Random

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    I'd very strongly advise against doing the vaseline thing. While it may be a good chemical barrier, it's a poor microbial barrier and vaseline (or any petroleum-based products) degrade both latex and nitrile. By the way, what type of nitrile gloves are they? Someone told me today that some of the synthetics are actually mixtures of nitrile and other synthetics.
  5. chef_NU

    chef_NU G-Unit

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    The "rash" you have could actually be cellulitis. I wear gloves a lot in the lab I work in and I've had several very minor infections/inflammations due to wearing gloves for long periods of time (traps germs in a warm, moist place). Just make sure that you wash your hands frequently, especially after removing gloves. Antibacterial moisturizer doesn't hurt either.
  6. mustangsally65

    mustangsally65 Sally 2.0

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    Interesting ideas.

    My right hand actually broke out today, so I'm thinking it's either the gloves or the soap I'm using. They're synthetic nitrile but I need to look on the box and make sure because I haven't scrutinized it or anything.

    I wash my hands after removing my gloves, and other times during the day as well. Who knows what it is? I finish my rotation tomorrow, so I'll see if it gets better after I stop using gloves so much.
  7. s42brown

    s42brown Chief Resident

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    What????????? is this an elective rotation? Weird. :eek:
  8. mustangsally65

    mustangsally65 Sally 2.0

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    No, I'm re-applying to med school this year and am doing this course to keep me busy. It's through my local community college. I guess I didn't specify, but I'm not in med school yet. I just posted here because there have been other threads about phlebotomy here and I figured most poeple here had exposure to prolonged glove wearing etc.

    Sorry about the confusion. I'm just trying to get more clinical experience in. :p
  9. s42brown

    s42brown Chief Resident

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    Thats great, I just misunderstood. Good luck with the application process. :D
  10. Pinesinger

    Pinesinger Born-again Yankee

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    I have a classmate who has a nitrile allergy. When we did gross anatomy we were required to wear nitrile gloves because they (allegedly) provided greater protection from the formaldehyde. So she wore latex gloves, and then nitrile over that. The latex seemed to protect her skin adequately, she didn't have any problems as far as I know.
  11. wistarrat

    wistarrat

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    I have a nitrile glove allergy! However, I've been told that it's not actually to the nitrile, itself, but to whatever softening compound is used to make the nitrile more rubbery and less plasticy. I wear the latex gloves, instead. But, Fisher Scientific offers bright green glove that are supposed to be for those allergic to the usual nitrile gloves. The name escapes me, at the moment.
  12. kmcneele

    kmcneele

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    I am sensitive to nitrile gloves as well! I work in a biomedical engineering lab, and I thought I was the only one with this problem...good to know I am not alone! The backs of my hands start burning and turning bright red only a couple of minutes after I put on nitrile gloves. I have absolutely no problems with latex gloves...

    Wistarrat (or anyone else), if you remember the name of those Fisherbrand gloves, please post it (Is it the aloe gloves?). I would love to find an alternative to nitrile! Thanks.
  13. Robert Jones

    Robert Jones

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    All synthetic materials when molded on glove molds, end up with the mold release agent on them. Molds are coated with a release agent, often silicone so that they peel off the mold easily. So nitrile gloves are not just nitrile. They are nitrile coated with a chemical of unknown material. If used in medical applications, the device is required to have a described manufacturing history, but it is not necessarily to say the materials completely on the label. So it may not be the nitrile, rather, something the nitrile has encountered in the fabrication and packaging process. Some latex glove come with talc also. FYI
  14. greytmedic

    greytmedic Faster than you

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    My wife developed a rash on both of her hands and thought it might be related to the gloves she wears at work. She switched to the non-latex nitrile gloves and the rash persisted. After several appointments with a dermatologist and then an allergist she found out she was allergic to a compound that is used in "accelerators" found in latex and non-latex gloves. She now has to use gloves that are marked "accelerator" free.

    Some of the gloves are

    Allerderm

    Micro-touch

    Aloetouch

    These gloves are "accelerator" free, but it depends on what you are specifically allergic to. An allergist or dermatologist can do patch testing of some of the common compounds found in contact dermatitis.
  15. greytmedic

    greytmedic Faster than you

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    Just realized this thread is a couple four years old. And only after one beer, I'm turning into such a light weight. :(
  16. eelliott

    eelliott

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    Working in the hospital I work in, I have discovered that I also have a nitrile allergy. Every time I use nitrile gloves that are not already pre-sterilized, my hands breakout in rashes. I have to have special pvc or neoprene gloves instead.
  17. werd

    werd Senior Member

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    since you're a healthcare worker, it may be good to have documentation of exactly what you're allergic to, that's it's really the gloves and not something else like soap/sanitizer. derm folks can do patch testing if your're really interested in getting to the bottom of it. nitrile allergy is pretty rare...
  18. Priya Pisipati

    Priya Pisipati

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    Hi, I am allergic to nitrile gloves too. But the strange part is, I wore nitrile gloves for 3 years before I got allergic to them. I wore a different brand the first 3 years but I can't remember what it is now. I tried latex gloves too but apparently I am allergic to them too.At this point I started to think I have a dermatological problem but then I started to wear household cleaning gloves( which have a certain amount of latex in them) and I am fine now. But the household cleaning gloves don't fit snugly and I don't have a good grip over anything. I have an internship coming up and I really need the money, but I don't want to be not selected due to this. Please help, if anyone has any ideas!!!
  19. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . . Moderator Emeritus

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    SDN is not the place to come for medical advice. I suggest speaking to a dermatologist or other medical provider.
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