Latex allergy.

  1. Nursing student here.

    I'm wondering how many of you developed a latex allergy over the years.

    I was talking with one of my instructors and I was telling her how I am allergic to melons and she said I might have a good chance of developing a latex allergy.

    Any ideas?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   jennyfyre
    I don't have a latex allergy, but I do have a funny story to share. I work on a peds unit as a HUC, and we're very careful about latex balloons and such. Our gift shop will exchange them for free for people who bring them for the kids. I also work as a server at a bowling alley. One New Year's we had a session for families and we did the "count down" about 3 hours early. My bosses dropped latex balloons all over the place and then started popping them!!! I about freaked out... ran all over gathering up the debris..thinking somebody's gonna be latex sensitive.. or some little kid is gonna choke! No one else could figure out why I was such a ninny... but all I could think of is that I certainly didn't want one of these kids being a patient on my floor the next day!
  4. by   gr8rnpjt
    I developed a latex allergy while working in the hospital. I had severe swelling of my face. Worked 11-7 and sometimes would go to bed after work feeling fine, but woke up with eyes swollen shut and a mouth that looked like collagen lip injections gone bad. I had the blood test and was diagnosed as having a definite latex allergy. One of many reasons that I left bedside nursing.
  5. by   RN007
    I'm allergic to latex rubber. That's one of the reasons I waited this late to enter a nursing program, knowing I would have trouble in hospitals until they started clearing out some of the stuff. I'm okay now, as many facilities are going latex free. My outbreaks are somewhat unpredictable, and rubber party balloons are definitely my enemy. However, I've done well at the hospital where I had clinicals this year. (Had a terrible time at the psych facility, which is older and apparently had more latex sitting around.) Here's a pretty good website with general information. It discusses cross reactions:

    Latex Allergy
  6. by   gitterbug
    Daughter and hubby have latex allergy. Scarey and unpredictable.
  7. by   llg
    I've developed a mild latex allergy over the years. I haven't had any respirator symptons yet, but my skin gets red and starts swelling wherever it touches my skin.
  8. by   mediatix8
    I'm very allergic to latex. My facility is almost 100% latex free so it's no problem. It's funny because not everything that has latex causes a problem for me. I have touched latex balloons without any problem. It depends on how it was made I guess. Just watch out about bandaids- some of them have latex and I have reacted to that with a bad rash so be careful. Everything is labeled either "latex free" or "this product contains latex" so look at everything if you have a latex allergic patient. Look at foley catheters, tourniquets... anything that comes in a wrapper should be labeled. Latex isn't just in gloves it's even in things like pencil erasers and rubber bands (neither has ever given me a reaction). For all medical supplies there is always an alternative latex free version somewhere. Oh yeah and another thing about latex allergies is that the more you're exposed to it the worse and worse it gets. I mean I wasn't always allergic to latex but after being exposed to these really cheap gloves at this one place I used to work at during nursing school I became allergic. Your allergic reaction gets worse and worse with every time you're exposed to it. I'm not allergic to any foods at all. I hope I never become allergic to hazelnuts! Yeah at my work you're supposed to ask ever new admission about foods that they are allergic to that are related to latex like bananas and tomatoes... it's called a "latex screen." There's a list just like you were saying and if they are then they're supposed to be considered allergic to latex even if they say they are not or don't know if they are.
  9. by   GA,RNC
    Quote from Bonny619
    Nursing student here.

    I'm wondering how many of you developed a latex allergy over the years.

    I was talking with one of my instructors and I was telling her how I am allergic to melons and she said I might have a good chance of developing a latex allergy.

    Any ideas?
    I have been an RN for 9 years. I developed my latex allergy 3 years into my nursing practice. It has gradually gotten worse, instead of a rash with asthma I now experience full-blown anaphylaxis with exposure. There are quite a few fresh fruits and vegetables that are cross-reactive and melon is one of them. A good resource is the American Latex Allergy Association.
  10. by   CRNI-ICU20
    Well, hot dang and little britches! I just had my full blown out of the blue reaction that landed me in the ER! I had swelling, redness, and hives all over my face, neck, hairline, and into my nostrils, ears, and inside my mouth....I scared the begeepers out of my co-workers....and the ER staff knows me...so it was hard on them to see someone they knew start to have airway probs....lucky for me...they reacted quickly and approp. and loaded me with solumedrol....big dose! and a whopping dose of epi....my heart felt like it was banging around in my chest like a washing machine!
    I was "up" for 24 hours....hehehe! even after they sent me home I had this rush of incredible energy....hives be damned! I cleaned closets...scrubbed floors...couldn't sit still to save myself!
    But once the stuff wore off, I was a noodle.
    I went through the course of prednisone....and now I am VERY careful....this was a first time reaction for me...
    So...after 20 years, I guess it's about time for me to react to something...
    I don't have the cross senstivities to foods...but the gloves really did get me around the throat....literally..
    ugh.
  11. by   lpnstudentin2010
    I am a regular patient in the hospital and though I am not allergic to latex i avoid it like the plague. In my chem class we are now using gloves. though most people use the latex gloves that the school provides I have provided my own nyplex gloves. i and my mother feel that it is better to be safe then sorry.
  12. by   BeeSunnyRN
    I was a child with a few (non-life-threatening) allergies and the standard hypo-allergic pillow was (maybe still is?) a latex pillow. I loved my latex pillows. Never have found anything as comfortable again!

    However while in nursing school I was given one of those questionaires and discovered that I was probably allergic to latex based on the fact that my mouth swelled when I ate kiwi, mango, or papaya. I stopped using my pillows and stopped latex gloves but no one mentioned that I could react just by being in a unit with others using the latex gloves.

    Exactly one year into my official nursing career I had a major reaction to being in a hospital surrounded by latex even though I never wore latex gloves.

    So although it was certainly bad timing, coming after graduation & after accumulating a lot of student loans... being diagnosed was probably the best thing that ever happened. I used to wake up in the middle of the night in a panic feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I assumed it was the stress of nursing school. Come to find out it was my comfy latex pillows. If it wasn't for the latex questionaire and subsequent disposal of said comfy pillows, I probably would have died in my sleep & no one would have known why.
  13. by   Dragonnurse1
    As I have posted before, there are so many warnings about the onset of latex allergies but as nurses we do not pay attention to our own health.:uhoh21:

    Mine came sliding in the back door. I reacted to neoprene - severely. It did not matter what or how many layers I put between my knee and the brace after 2 hours my skin looked like 2nd degree burns. Then came the respitory problems combined with lyrngospasms.

    I flunked every test for latex allergy because I was not reacting at the time. False neg. are more common than false positives. Besides I have had immunogoblin treatments in the past.

    I had the True Test patches placed and within 2 hours I was in the hospital in bigemny. We did not know but the rhythm change lasted one year until I had ablations x3 pacing centers in my heart. Now I have one working pacing node and we sure do not want it to give out.

    Latex has 250 different proteins of which 11 have been currently identified as allergens.
    Then there is the problem of cross-reaction to foods. The last time I had canteloupe I itched outside and inside for 48 hours despite treatment.

    Sometimes it is not just the latex but also the chemicals used in the processing. This type of reaction is called MCS or Multi-Chemical Sensitivity(allergy).

    Yes some hospitals are going latex free but have they replaced the ductwork, are the mattresses being replaced? These are some of the hidden places where latex hangs out.

    I now wear a full face cover with a unit with 3 types of filters and a battery pack. Try shopping like that and listen to the comments others make. I spend most of my time in my home.

    Be your own proactive rep. LAforum on yahoo.com has some of the most complete listings of cross reactive items, alternative products and other info.:bowingpur

    I do not trust the government to tell the whole truth, after all a Gyn went to do an exam - he had no problems with latex before - he put on the gloves and dropped dead due to extreme anaphlatic shock.

    Take care of yourself.
    Last edit by Dragonnurse1 on Apr 24, '08 : Reason: forgot about True Test screw up
  14. by   vade07
    Can I have my Nursing Scholarship removed due to a Latex allergy??

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