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Agents and trends in health care workers' occupational asthma.

Walters, G I and Moore, V C and McGrath, E E and Burge, P S and Henneberger, P K (2013) Agents and trends in health care workers' occupational asthma. Occupational medicine (Oxford, England), 63 (7). pp. 513-6. ISSN 1471-8405. This article is accessible to all HEFT staff and students via NHS Evidence www.evidence.nhs.uk by using their HEFT Athens login IDs

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Official URL: http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/7/513....

Abstract

BACKGROUND

There is a disproportionately high number of cases of work-related asthma occurring in health care occupations due to agents such as glutaraldehyde, latex and cleaning products.

AIMS

To understand the causes and measure trends over time of occupational asthma (OA) in health care workers (HCWs).

METHODS

We reviewed OA notifications from the Midland Thoracic Society's Surveillance Scheme of Occupational Asthma (SHIELD) database in the West Midlands, UK, from 1991 to 2011 and gathered data on occupation, causative agent and annual number of notifications.

RESULTS

There were 182 cases of OA in HCWs (median annual notifications = 7; interquartile range [IQR] = 5-11), representing 5-19% of annual SHIELD notifications. The modal annual notification was 20 (in 1996); notifications have declined since then, in line with total SHIELD notifications. The majority of cases (136; 75%) occurred in nursing, operating theatre, endoscopy and radiology staff. The most frequently implicated agents were glutaraldehyde (n = 69), latex (n = 47) and cleaning products (n = 27), accounting for 79% of the 182 cases. Cleaning product-related OA was an emerging cause with 22 cases after 2001 and only 5 cases between 1991 and 2000.

CONCLUSIONS

Control measures within the UK National Health Service have seen a decline in OA in HCWs due to latex and glutaraldehyde, though OA remains a problem amongst HCWs exposed to cleaning products. Continuing efforts are required to limit the number of cases in this employment sector.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is accessible to all HEFT staff and students via NHS Evidence www.evidence.nhs.uk by using their HEFT Athens login IDs
Subjects: WF Respiratory system. Respiratory medicine
Divisions: Planned IP Care > Respiratory Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mrs Caroline Tranter
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 13:59
Last Modified: 30 May 2015 06:34
URI: http://www.repository.heartofengland.nhs.uk/id/eprint/773

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