Ventyv™ is proud to announce that we recently submitted some of our products for rigorous permeability testing to fentanyl. We are pleased to announce that those particular products in our line of exam gloves demonstrated no permeability to the test limit of 240 minutes (4 hours) of the drug.
Why is this so important? Because fentanyl, although commonplace in hospitals, can be introduced in illicit forms in the course of patient intake and care. Exposure through these channels carries significant risks for caregivers. Looking at the alarming reasons that this drug has been trending in the mainstream news will help you better understand why caregivers are running into this drug, and why personal protective equipment (PPE) is so critical for those who may encounter it.
The Deadliest Drug
Opioid painkillers provide a powerful and necessary means to manage pain in persons suffering from severe conditions. These pharmaceuticals, though, are chemically similar to street drugs such as heroin and can induce the same type of dependency and overdose. Fentanyl is a particularly strong opioid painkiller and, because of that, criminals have begun to synthesize it themselves and provide it on the black market, either by itself or as an additive cut with other drugs. The increased supply and use of this drug recently led the CDC to label it as the drug most implicated in overdose deaths between 2011 and 2016.
As with other scheduled opioid painkillers, there are legitimate uses for this powerful pharmaceutical when administered by trained professionals, or prescribed as part of a course of treatment and taken as directed. When caregivers are dealing with overdose patients or addicts, however, they run the risk of touching or breathing unregulated amounts of the illicit drug -- a deadly serious matter.
Occupational Exposure to Fentanyl: Who, How and What?
Fentanyl is such a powerful drug that there was even a report of a police officer experiencing an accidental overdose from cutaneous exposure (touching) in the course of wiping a small amount of the seized illicit drug off of his uniform with his hands during an arrest.
EMS workers and other first responders also run an established risk of coming into contact with illicit fentanyl in the course of assisting those who have experienced overdoses. There are guidelines pertaining specifically to their proper use of PPE when in the field, increasing in meticulousness on the basis of the amount of the drug suspected to be in the environment.
During the course of treating overdose patients or addicts, medical professionals in hospitals also face potential exposure through inhalation of powdered/aerosolized fentanyl, needle sticks, and accidental skin contact or ingestion.
Those who experience occupational exposure to fentanyl resulting in an overdose will show symptoms such as:
• Constricted pupils;
• Loss of consciousness;
• Shallow breathing;
• Choking or gurgling sounds;
• Pale or blue skin.
These symptoms require immediate medical attention, as an opioid overdose can result in death.
The Right Ventyv™ Exam Gloves for a Serious Task
Caregivers in hospital environments are uniquely positioned to save lives amid the terrible ongoing opioid epidemic, but they have to look out for themselves while they do it. The Ventyv™ Walrus, Elephant, Octopus and Kangaroo exam glove lines help them do that.
When used correctly in conjunction with other appropriate PPE gear rated for coming into contact with fentanyl, these lines of Ventyv™ powder-free nitrile exam gloves can allow caregivers to treat patients confidently, without fear of a potential incident.
The correct use of PPE can mean the difference between a day spent helping patients and a life-altering catastrophe. Ventyv™ knows that staff safety needs to be a top priority when administering medical care, and can be your partner in ensuring your staff's safety with high-quality information and industry-leading products.Read More