Latex Allergy

  1. I had my first latex case this past Friday. Pt needed a foley so I went and pulled latex free cath and separate bag with KY and other supplies. Later on my charge nurse pulled me to the side and ask me why I did what I did. I said the pt was latex allergy. She then told me you just open up a latex foley kit and pull the latex cath off the bag and replace with non latex cath. I had a hard time with this and would like some feed back..
    Thanks
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    We have latex-free complete Foley kits.

    When they were on backorder, we did the same thing you did.
  4. by   tessa_RN
    I would have done the same thing you did..I dont want anything that has touched latex to touch my patient.
  5. by   MissJoRN
    We would have done it the way you did.
  6. by   brainnurse
    Please say she didn't really tell you to do that???
    If a patient were allergic to PCN, but you already drew it up....I guess by her thinking, you shouldn't have to waste the syringe. Just squirt it out and refill with Vanco, right?
  7. by   CIRQL8
    You did right. If a latex product is in a kit (or a pack) then the entire product and packaging should be considered a latex product. (perhaps, unless the latex product is in a non-permeable pachage and can be removed without risk of latex proteins escaping)
    We have a pack that comes w/ a latex foley, but the foley is in a package w/ perforations - not an impermeable package- so it cannot be used in a latex-free case. Our Institution's complete foley kit has the foley already attached to the tubing, so it is not separate from the rest of the product - again, cannot be used for a latex allergy patient.
    Yadda yadda - you get my point!
  8. by   CNORSUE
    You cannot use a latex containing Foley kit on a Latex allergy pt!!!! End of story!! Why would you take that chance? If the catheter contains latex, the whole kit is contaminated!
  9. by   ak127
    Oh my god, you guys are so careful! I wish people would be as careful with my latex allergy!
    I went to the dentist last year & told him and the assistant that I'm allergic. Again. Even though I personally wrote it on the front of my chart with a red pen... whatever. He's examining me and he asks me a question- when I go to answer him I don't make any sense b/c my tongue and lips are so big- thats right, latex gloves. How stupid do people get? Yeah, put latex near my airway, I have a latex allergy and asthma, its reeeeal smart.
    God Bless those of you who actually PAY ATTENTION!

    Similarly, I had a patient go bad on me in clinical a couple weeks ago first thing in the morning before I'd gotten a bunch of nitrile gloves in my pocket. I had to throw on some latex and I was itching all over til noon the next day! I just don't get why some hospitals make it so hard to FIND non-latex gloves, then they only buy one size- pain in my ass. grrrrrrrrr.
  10. by   ewattsjt
    Quote from cnorsue
    you cannot use a latex containing foley kit on a latex allergy pt!!!! end of story!! why would you take that chance? if the catheter contains latex, the whole kit is contaminated!
    amen!!!!!!!!

    even if the kit has the foley independently wrapped, you do not know if the impervious wrap has been punctured or a flaw in the wrap. we are talking about an allergy to proteins so the opening doesn't have to be big. why would anyone want to chance it?
  11. by   crackerjack
    We do just as you did. Opening the latex kit exposes the room air to the allergen proteins. To open a latex kit in the room with a latex allergy patient would require an incident report at my facility. Besides, what was her goal in asking you to do that? From the cost standpoint there's little difference and from what I've seen on our cost inventory, more expensive to open a full latex kit then a silicone foley because the big expense of going latex free is the foley itself. The cost of assembling the needed supplies contained in a latex kit is not that costly.

    Cost should be irrelevent but we are a $$ driven society and business is business, therefore, it's considered in what we're asked to do gotta save that buck!!!
  12. by   core0
    Quote from crackerjack
    We do just as you did. Opening the latex kit exposes the room air to the allergen proteins. To open a latex kit in the room with a latex allergy patient would require an incident report at my facility. Besides, what was her goal in asking you to do that? From the cost standpoint there's little difference and from what I've seen on our cost inventory, more expensive to open a full latex kit then a silicone foley because the big expense of going latex free is the foley itself. The cost of assembling the needed supplies contained in a latex kit is not that costly.

    Cost should be irrelevent but we are a $$ driven society and business is business, therefore, it's considered in what we're asked to do gotta save that buck!!!
    The real question should be was this a real latex allergy. There are lots of people that have a "latex allergy" but it is really a latex sensitivity. I work in GI and if we have a real latex allergy case we have a standard protocol. Has to be done in the OR (not GI lab) has to be the first case of the day. Room has to be terminated the night before (complete scrub down). All latex material has to be removed before terminating the room and any cabinets with latex material have to be sealed.

    As you can see this is a real pain and has led to a dramatic reduction in latex cases. Ask yourself a few questions. Is there airway involvement, can they wear regular underwear (elastic contains latex) etc. Most people have a latex sensitivity and you just need to avoid direct contact with latex. The ones that truely have a latex allergy give you a definite appreciation for the amount of latex in the hospital environment.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  13. by   TracyB,RN
    Our foley kits are also latex free. Most of our stuff is.
    Ditto to core0's post. Most patients aren't truly allergic, but the ones that are, ooooh boy. The nasty, nasty consequences. YIKES
  14. by   crackerjack
    Quote from core0
    The real question should be was this a real latex allergy. There are lots of people that have a "latex allergy" but it is really a latex sensitivity. I work in GI and if we have a real latex allergy case we have a standard protocol. Has to be done in the OR (not GI lab) has to be the first case of the day. Room has to be terminated the night before (complete scrub down). All latex material has to be removed before terminating the room and any cabinets with latex material have to be sealed.

    As you can see this is a real pain and has led to a dramatic reduction in latex cases. Ask yourself a few questions. Is there airway involvement, can they wear regular underwear (elastic contains latex) etc. Most people have a latex sensitivity and you just need to avoid direct contact with latex. The ones that truely have a latex allergy give you a definite appreciation for the amount of latex in the hospital environment.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    We have the same policy in place for latex allergic patients in our OR however, unfortunately, if a patient says she/he is allergic to latex we have to treat it as such even if the sx symply indicate latex sensitivity. I appreciate the fact that it may be only a sensitivity but the fact that our patients are coming in for surgery places them at a distinct disadvantage healthwise. They are ill in some way and we are causing a major assault to the body which could result in the body reacting to latex proteins more extremely than in the past. Better to treat this like a 'pain is what the patient says it is' situation. It's kind of a sore spot at my hospital as we have several surgeons and anesthesiologists who wish to dismiss it altogether at times. It's extra work then there's the wait time to TC the room and set it up again when we failed to get the information at scheduling that the patient is latex allergic and find out the day of surgery. ugh what a nightmare!

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