Occupational allergic reactions in the hospital nursing staff

Background: Exposure of nursing staff to variable allergens constitutes an important occupational risk. The aim was to evaluate the frequency and type of allergic reactions.Subjects-Method: A questionnaire was distributed to the nursing staff of three general hospitals of Athens. SPSS was used for the statistical analysis.Results: 283 workers completed the questionnaire: 28(9,9%) males, 255 (90,1%) females, mean age: 38±16years. 149 (53%) individuals reported allergic reaction. 62(41,6%) presented the most recent episode in £1year. 75% reported ³2episodes. Manifestations: Rash (74,5%), dyspnea (29,5%), facial angioedema (16,1%), laryngeal edema (6,7%). Allergens implicated: antiseptics-disinfectants (58,4%), gloves (57%), medications (23,5%). 77 (51,7%) workers needed medical treatment, 12 (8,1%) hospitalization, 17 (11,4%) sick-leave, 9 (6%) changed clinic/department. In 42% of the cases the head nurse was not informed. 41,6% reported that taking preventive measures is practically difficult. 45% had a history of allergic reactions outside the workplace.Conclusions: (1)The percentage of allergic reactions was significant. (2) Antiseptics-disinfectants and gloves have been mainly implicated. (3) A significant percentage needed medical treatment. (4) Only few workers took preventive measures.

Author(s): Marvaki Christina

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