The financial analysis took into account a variety of costs. "When we were looking at ICU costs, we were looking at the costs per treating a case of anaphylaxis, so that could range from very minor to major costs, including lawsuits if there was a fatality," Dr. Weiniger explained. Other costs included those of using latex-free gloves, at $1 per pair and five pair needed per cesarean case.
"The management, when they understood that a cesarean section anaphylaxis could cost them a minimum of $500 per case, and the latex gloves [would cost] $5 per case, they just did the math, with a 2% incidence of latex anaphylaxis in our hospital. They agreed [on a latex-free policy] only for cesarean sections, not for other surgeries, and not for urinary catheters," as the literature suggests that gloves are the main source of the problem.
Many institutions have not assessed anaphylaxis in their cesarean populations, according to Dr. Weiniger. "So we are planning a national study to get other institutions to identify any case of potential anaphylaxis, to do mast cell tryptase to confirm if it was anaphylaxis, and to do latex testing to see if the cause was latex, so the other institutions can identify if they also have a problem," she said.
Dr. Weiniger disclosed no financial conflicts of interests.