Veille documentaire MTPH

Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Comparing the level of dexterity offered by latex and nitrile SafeSkin gloves.

Ann Occup Hyg. 2006 Apr;50(3):289-96. Epub 2005 Dec 15.
Comparing the level of dexterity offered by latex and nitrile SafeSkin gloves.
‘Sawyer J, Bennett A.
Department of Biosafety, Health Protection Agency Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK.’

An increase in the occurrence of latex allergy has been concurrent with the increasing use of latex gloves by laboratory and healthcare workers. In recent years nitrile gloves have been used to replace latex gloves to prevent latex allergy. Nitrile gloves offer a comparable level of protection against chemical and biological agents and are more puncture resistant. However, if manual dexterity is compromised by nitrile gloves to a greater degree than latex then this may increase the risk of sharps injuries. The Purdue pegboard test, which measures both gross and fine finger dexterity, was used to test the dexterity levels of two glove types used at HPA CEPR; Kimberly-Clark SafeSkin nitrile and latex laboratory gloves. There was a statistically significant 8.6% increase in fine finger dexterity provided by latex compared with nitrile SafeSkin laboratory gloves but no difference in gross dexterity between the glove types. There was no significant relationship between glove dexterity and age or gender. The selection of glove size was influenced by the digit length of participants. Moreover, those with longer, thinner fingers appeared to have an advantage when using nitrile SafeSkin gloves. The level of dexterity provided by latex and nitrile SafeSkin gloves for tasks on a gross dexterity level are comparable and health workers will benefit from the non-allergenic properties of nitrile. For tasks requiring fine finger dexterity nitrile SafeSkin gloves may impede dexterity. Despite this, the degree of restriction appears to have a negligible impact on safety in this study when compared with the risk of latex sensitization and subsequent allergy. In addition to glove material, working practices must also take into account glove size, fit, grip and thickness, as these factors can all influence dexterity.
MeSH Terms: Adult – Comparative Study – Consumer Satisfaction – Female – Fingers/anatomy & histology – Fingers/physiology – Gloves, Protective* – Hand/anatomy & histology – Hand/physiology* – Humans – Latex* – Latex Hypersensitivity/prevention & control –
Publication Types: Evaluation Studies

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