Guest: Dr Monica Sagardoy Ph.D.
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Dr Monica Sagardoy Ph.D. has worked at Ansell for 11 years and is currently the Director of GAMMEX® Surgical Gloves for Ansell’s Medical Division. Dr Sagardoy has held various roles with Ansell including Marketing Director for the APAC Region and Brand Director for an emerging markets glove brand. A resident of Australia for 12 years, Dr Sagardoy currently lives in Melbourne with her husband, with whom she enjoys the “good Spanish hobbies” of eating, socialising and dancing.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, learn more about Ansell‘s wide array of products as we are joined by Director of GAMMEX®, Dr Monica Sagardoy Ph.D. In her current capacity, Dr Sagardoy works very closely with the Research and Development as well as their Manufacturing teams on the development of new products, and with the Regional Marketing and Sales Teams on understanding market needs and introducing new products. With innovation and clinical relevance at the heart of the GAMMEX® philosophy, Dr Sagardoy thoroughly enjoys the role diversity and the opportunities to interact with people around the world and understanding different healthcare systems around the globe.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. Today my guest joins me from Australia in Melbourne, it’s Dr. Monica Sagardoy. Monica’s Ansell’s director of Gammex surgical gloves, a brand that I’m sure is well known to all of you in the clinical space. Monica welcome to Health Professional Radio.
Monica Sagardoy: Thank you very much and thank you for inviting me to participate in your program. It’s a pleasure to be here.
W: You’re very welcome. Now Monica I guess that everyone’s heard of Gammex gloves. But tell us a little bit about the products from your perspective?
M: Yes, that’s a very good question. Ansell Healthcare is the leader in barrier protection and have various divisions that serve the healthcare industry. Ansell’s “industrial division” which is the biggest division that we have, offers a range for example of chemical and heat protection gloves, which may be used in hospitals in areas such as CSSD department. The second division that may also serve products to the healthcare industry is our “single use division” which offers gloves for critical environment, that may be used for the example in research – laboratories, or in pharmaceutical manufacturing. And finally the “medical division” which is the one I work in and is the main one for everything in the health industry. The medical division offers a full range of surgical and examination gloves, including dedicated dental range that have also options of this range, options to prevent both the latex and the chemical allergies. Ansell has a range of healthcare safety devices that includes sharp safety devices which are designed to prevent staff, injuries in clinical settings – protecting the healthcare workers and the patients.
W: Now I have to confess. It’s a 40 years or so since I have worked in a hospital that I didn’t realize there was such a range of gloves these days.
M: Yes, it certainly has changed quite significantly. For example if I take you on that question, this year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary of the Gammex brand. And the first Gammex product started as the first single use product that it was introduced by Ansell. And the name Gammex comes from “Gamma radiation” because it was the first Gamma radiated glove in hospital. And that obviously was introduced 50 years ago when disposable gloves were kind of a foreign notion. The gloves were rewashed, re-sterilized and then reused after surgery. So certainly the used of gloves and its technology have come forward quite a lot in the last 30 years since you have worked in hospital, yeah. We include now for example antimicrobial gloves which has gloves coated with antimicrobial. This technology was introduced a few years ago and the objective is to help minimize the surgical site infections by providing this antimicrobial coating that will help quit the transmission of microorganisms from the healthcare worker to the patient and the other way around in the event of a glove breach which is quite frequent.
W: Yes, gloves breaches have always been a problem.
M: Yes. They have always been a problem. Some people are double gloving more frequently these days, but still the double gloving at the ER is not a very high in some countries. So Australia it’s quite good but still not at the level that it should be. And that’s obviously to protect against the unnoticed breaches.
W: Monica gloves are much more complex than I had imagined. They’re really a piece of clinical intervention now about the sound of it based on what glove you choose.
M: Yes. There’s a lot of research and development that’s involved into gloves. And that’s something that a lot of clinicians do not realize. And even myself I didn’t realize this when I started working in Ansell, how much technology really goes into the gloves. How different one gloves may be from the next. So yes, it’s certainly true that there’s a lot of differentiation between the gloves.
W: I assume Ansell is a global provider of product. Is there a difference between countries or is it universal across the world?
M: There’s a slight differences, like for example as before we were talking about double gloving or as we talk about non-latex options and gloves that protect you against allergies. Some countries especially in the emerging market maybe have less range in terms of double gloving options or non-latex option or gloves that doesn’t have has half chemical accelerators, for example, that are certain components that are used in the gloves to give elasticity and the strength but so which are very good for that, but it can also cause some type IV allergic dermatitis so some might have adverse effects in your hands. So in some of the emerging markets, the variety of the range doesn’t exist as much in countries such as Australia for example.
W: Interesting. Now Monica most of our audience are clinicians in hospitals or in aged care. Is there a take away message you’d like them to get today as a result of you having a chat with us?
M: Yes. I think what I would like probably as a take away is a misconception I guess
about the latex allergies and their adverse effects cause by gloves. Most people including some clinicians mistakenly believe that the majority of that reactions in the gloves are caused by latex and that’s going latex people would fix this issue. And going latex free is so very important. Do not get me wrong especially for example for children with multiple surgeries that may have latex incidence up to 50% and we know if they are treated only with non-latex gloves from birth, this can be significantly reduced. But if we talk about our healthcare workers that are spending many hours of the day s gloving up, latex allergies also a big incidence for them. But the majority of the adverse effects that they find with the gloves is due to the chemical accelerators that are present, not only in the latex gloves but also in some of the non-latex gloves. So I think that using non-latex gloves is the way to go, but it doesn’t go far enough. I think the best way to really offer the best possible protection for our healthcare workers and also for the patients is to use a non-latex chemical accelerator free.
W: Ah, now that’s a very interesting point. So it’s sometimes the latex allergy is given the blame when it’s in fact the allergy to other things.
M: That is correct. So chemical allergies are causing around 33% or so of their glove reactions encounter with gloves. So it’s quite important to be aware of these issues. And as we were talking before about research and technology we introduced a little ago a new formulation which is called “sensoprene formulation.” This formulation is encountered in our neoprene range which is both latex free and chemical accelerator free. And the beauty of this technology is that it allows us besides this latex-free and accelerator-free, also to have very durable gloves that it will withstand the rigors of surgery but also is very, very good sensitivity. So the surgeons and the healthcare workers can perform at their best because their sensitivity obviously is another critical point.
W: Now Monica I missed the name of that, was it Sensoprene?
M: Sensoprene, yes that’s probably my accent.
W: I’m sure the people want to look out for it, that’s why I mentioned it again.
M: Thank you.
W: Now Monica, in every industry there are misconceptions. What’s the biggest misconception about your world that drive you nuts and keep you awake at night?
M: I think I have two misconceptions, and I have already talked about them. One of them is this assumption that a glove is just a glove. I must say that I had the same when I worked in my past life as a researcher, I didn’t understand all this difference. So this is one thing that drives me nuts. And the second one is this misconception about the causes of allergic reactions and sensitivities. And another thing hospitals are sometimes on the offering protection after they develop an allergy rather than offering a bit more pro-active solution of offering and non-latex and accelerator-free glove before anyone develops an allergy or a sensitivity. I think that would be my two key pieces.
W: That’s prevention is eminently sensible, isn’t it?
W: Monica it’s been a pleasure having you with me. If people want more information, is there a website they can go to?
M: Yes. The website is medical.ansell.com.au. But before we go will you allow me a couple more minutes, I would like to highlight the fact that we are celebrating our 50th anniversary for Gammex this year. And we have partnered with Direct Relief, but I’m not sure whether all your listeners will be familiar with this, not for profit organization. But they specialize in providing essential medical resources for people in need. So what we are doing we have this special website for the 50th Anniversary, which is gammex50.com. And we have there an eCard, for every eCard that we have signed, we are donating 50 pairs of gloves to Direct Relief. And we are targeting 50,000 pairs of glove donations. So I would like to ask your audience to please visit the site and I will repeat the URL it’s gammex50.com. And if they can sign the eCard so we can proceed with the donations and together we can make a difference for people in need.
W: What a wonderful gesture on behalf of Ansell for their anniversary. Listeners if you head off to gammex50.com, sign the eCard no toss doesn’t hurt you. And as a result 50 pairs of Gammex gloves will be donated through an independent charity to people in need.
M: Thank you very much.
W: What a wonderful gesture. Dr. Monica Sagardoy, Ansell director for Gammex surgical gloves thank you for your time today.
M: Thank you for having me. Have a very good day Wayne.
W: Thank you very much. If you just missed my interview with Monica, the good news is we have a transcript on our website at www.hpr.fm and that includes all those URLs that we’ve mentioned. You can also hear the interview again on YouTube or on SoundCloud. This is Wayne Bucklar you’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio.