Latex allergy and nursing

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    How many of you have been diagnoised with Latex allergy, Multi chemical sensitivity? I worked ER for 9+ years and had a couple of warnings about the latex creeping up on me but I did not recognise them. A definite allergy to neoprene, my very 1st reaction to poison ivy that I had been imune to all of my life. The came the day of my first anaphylsis to latex.

    Anyone else
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    A knee injury=RSD[Reflex SympatheticDystrophy= 1988=now called CRPS(Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome= the'And' was left out=making it CRAPS--which it truly is!! ]. Pain relief:'91 with DBS [DeepBrainSyndrome]started my trip to 'latex allergy' land. '93=Dx'd=Fibromyalgia Syndrome [FMS]=an HLA testing idicated 13 allergies including latex. [Adhesive&plastic tape would cause me to breakout...even paper tape turned my skin red & itchy; BPcuffs&car tires would give me a headache; forget about blowing up balloons...I thought everyone had a terrible taste in their mouths & got headaches whenever around anything latex. To date my latex allergy only affects: skin, taste[mouth], & strong headaches. Am trying to avoid anaphylatic shock. I'm curious about how anyone could actually work in a hospital with all it's latex supplies; yes, I know that NOW most things are being made out of non-latex stuff=to me it feels like=too little, too late. An urologist took one look at my allergy list [1 1/2 hrs /p my scheduled appointment time]; see latex; and tell me that he "doesn't do" latex free stuff" and to find another urologist. He also added that he would 'retire' before anyone could make him switch to nonLatex stuff. I went from , to , to = I had already waited 6 weeks for this appointment... What YOU must have gone thru!!! ...{I worked at a PRO-reviewed charts and made phone contacts /p RSD '88. It kept me from daily latex contact=only near it with stuff I could mostly avoid=balloons, tires etc. That doesn't count my hospitalizations=I even received a 'latex free' kit on my last hospitalization WHICH the staff DID NOT use, but of course charged me for it]... Again= you must be a !
    Last edit by Painthe5thvitalsign on Sep 4, '07 : Reason: my first was 'too wordy' so I slimmed it down some
    Dragonnurse1 likes this.
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    I do not understand Doctors like your urologist but the first allergist I went to told me that if I had a latex allergy I would be dead. :flamesonb I also have laryngospasms that I have no control over. The pulmonist told my Internal Med MD that I was making up the spasms even though he and his staff watched one. DUH!
  6. 1
    Quote from Dragonnurse1
    I do not understand Doctors like your urologist but the first allergist I went to told me that if I had a latex allergy I would be dead. :flamesonb I also have laryngospasms that I have no control over. The pulmonist told my Internal Med MD that I was making up the spasms even though he and his staff watched one. DUH!
    :angryfireNow that would p**** me off. Docs not thinking out of the box........ Sorry to hear that Dragonnurse.
    Dragonnurse1 likes this.
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    I've been a nurse for 31 years and was diagnosed with a latex allergy 10 years ago. I would have one reaction after another while working in the ER. I was then transferred off campus to work in an office. But.... the charts they were giving me to work on were coming from the main hospital - OR charts, etc. Needless to say, I still reacted. Yes, I was terminated from my position because my doc put out of work until my system settled down and since I could not give them a return to work date, they fired me!!! I was out on workmans's comp disabiltiyfor 6 years before my system calmed down enough to be able to work again - and I work in a latex safe environment - no such thing as latex free by the way. I was told I would never work as a nurse again but I proved them wrong by staying away from the nasty stuff and doing what I was suppose to do. It's a horrible allergy!!! I cost me more than anyone will ever know or understand.
  8. 0
    Quote from GMDLS2606
    I've been a nurse for 31 years and was diagnosed with a latex allergy 10 years ago. I would have one reaction after another while working in the ER. I was then transferred off campus to work in an office. But.... the charts they were giving me to work on were coming from the main hospital - OR charts, etc. Needless to say, I still reacted. Yes, I was terminated from my position because my doc put out of work until my system settled down and since I could not give them a return to work date, they fired me!!! I was out on workmans's comp disability for 6 years before my system calmed down enough to be able to work again - and I work in a latex safe environment - no such thing as latex free by the way. I was told I would never work as a nurse again but I proved them wrong by staying away from the nasty stuff and doing what I was suppose to do. It's a horrible allergy!!! I cost me more than anyone will ever know or understand.
    You are lucky. You have a latex allergy and work in a "latex safe environment". I, on the other hand, have lost my nursing career, my ability to drive, my ability to go shopping on the spur of the moment, going to the movies, going to any restaurant in town without precautions and more.:angryfire As far as "costing me more than anyone will ever know or understand" there are hundreds of us that would disagree with you. I have to wear a respirator to shop. I have had my driving privileges pulled by my doctor because I was a "danger to myself and other drivers". I go into laryngospasms without warning. I have to call restaurants to find out if they use latex gloves in the kitchen or the vegetable wash on their salad greens. I have had to give up bananas, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and several other good foods. I have been rejected for surgery on my neck for herniated discs because of the allergy. I developed a case of MRSA that required surgery and I could not have my bandages taped to me so I was in bed 7 days straight going through dressing changes and having to lay on one side until the wound started to close.

    I joined the Latex Allergy Group right after my BIG reaction and we had 40 members. Last time I logged on we had 250+ and several countries represented (England, New Zealand, Australia to name a few). All of us with latex allergies and some of us with multiple allergies that developed after the latex allergy.

    When you worked with the charts the problems were not just related to the location the paperwork came from. Carbon-less paper has latex in its mix. As a matter of fact there are over 40,000 items in the US that contain latex.

    It IS a horrible allergy and those who have it systemically have to walk on eggshells for their entire life. Count your blessings.
  9. 0
    Oh believe me, I am fully aware of what you are saying. I had to do all the same things for several years. I would anaphylax in stores, offices, etc. I even had an anaphylactic reaction in the OR I was on so many meds every day that I couldn't hardly keep track. I was involved in the latex allergy studies at Hopkins and became one of their prme "guinea pigs" because I was so reactive. I too was in the latex allergy group but when I changed by email address, I got dropped.
  10. 0
    I had no idea that a latex allergy was so life altering.
  11. 0
    I am sorry to hear about this for you. I believe that as nurses, we all should petition manufacterers to only make latex free products for the medical field because so many patients, nurses, and doctors have become allergic. I wish the best to you.









    Quote from GMDLS2606
    I've been a nurse for 31 years and was diagnosed with a latex allergy 10 years ago. I would have one reaction after another while working in the ER. I was then transferred off campus to work in an office. But.... the charts they were giving me to work on were coming from the main hospital - OR charts, etc. Needless to say, I still reacted. Yes, I was terminated from my position because my doc put out of work until my system settled down and since I could not give them a return to work date, they fired me!!! I was out on workmans's comp disabiltiyfor 6 years before my system calmed down enough to be able to work again - and I work in a latex safe environment - no such thing as latex free by the way. I was told I would never work as a nurse again but I proved them wrong by staying away from the nasty stuff and doing what I was suppose to do. It's a horrible allergy!!! I cost me more than anyone will ever know or understand.
  12. 0
    I just returned to work after staying at home for almost 5 years. I am, now this moment, sitting here with itching feet, hands and lips. It's amazing as a nurse, how you can down play signs and symptoms that you would notify your patient's doctor about. I work L&D and use gloves constantly. After a day in gloves all day because of my patient's needs, I came home to burning hands and tight chest. I said to myself, "wow, I must be tired". Go figure. Now, after going to the doctor, I am waiting for my immune system to settle down for latex testing. So, now, I use latex free gloves. The problem is not just the gloves, as I see on here. It's the foley I placed yesterday. It's the stuff I touch. Hard to work with this type of symptoms. Glad I found this site. Thanks.


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