Published Jan 18, 2005
Hello, everyone. I am a student who works part time in an OB/GYN office. I have been working there for about 5 months. The last two times I have worked, after being there for about an hour, my eyes have started watering and became extremely red, and my nose started running. Today these symptoms started up and towards the end of the day my face was becoming numb and I was really feeling weird, I had the gloves on a lot today. After the last pateint left, I had a lightbulb come on in my head and realized it might be the latex gloves, since I have never experienced this before. I talked with the doctor I work for and asked if she thought it was possible that I was having a reaction. She is going to pick up some vinyl gloves for me to be on the safe side. I will be making an appoitment with my doctor to see whats up. I have been home from work for about 4 hrs and just now starting to feel like myself. I have worn the gloves a few times in school during labs and never noticed anything, but I wear them a lot now that I am working. I was wondering how many nurses out there have a latex allergy and how they deal with it?
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
While I don't have an actual allergy, I do have a sensitivity to latex. My hands get very irritated, red and itchy (maybe it is an allergy?!). What I have noticed is that in school they are switching over to nonlatex gloves in the natural science department and hopefully this will progress over to the nursing department.
An older nurse explained to me that before you decide you have a latex allergy, make sure you have washed the powder off your hands well. She was right. My hands were red, edematous, and looked like raw meat. Hand rinsing extra well after removing gloves did the trick.
Of course if this doesn't help, see the dermatologist for allergy tests. My nursing school made you bring in the doctor's confirmation before they would supply the non-latex gloves.
Ok, a few years ago, a new nursing job (my first right out of RN school), I found my hands completely red and sore, etc. I was sent to employee health. I was given copied stories of latex allergies and a blood test. The articles from nursing journals. And they said, so did the journals, that there is no specific test for latex allergy. Bloodwork can show a sensitivity, as mine did, but not more than that.
Then again, in the paperwork they gave me, there was the story of the RN who had to take time off work for a latex sensitivity. She came back to work and had and anaphylactic rx from the latex in the air at work (from the foleys, gloves, other stuff), even though she didn't use latex gloves herself. She recovered and left nursing.
Not to be alarming, since there are always weird studies that may or may not hold true. A just in case in though, I would at least ask for latex as well as non latex gloves in every room. Our hosp uses only non latex stuff now, except for gloves. But at least they're trying to make both types available in every room.
when i first started wearing latex gloves, i scratched my hands until they were bleeding.
then one noc i came home and noticed there were these huge welts on my upper legs with much pruritis- don't know if it was related.
but when i went to powder-free gloves, all symptoms stopped.
our facility required a doctor's note stating such allergies in order for us to wear the powder-free gloves.
whether it was a sensitivity or allergy, i wasn't about to wait to go into anaphylactic shock....
I haven't had a problem since powder was eliminated from gloves. Before that, I had red itchy hands like several other posters have mentioned. I did have a colleague who had multiple allergies and avoided latex. However, she still felt ill much of the time when on duty, and finally quit to go work at a newer facility. We found later that the air conditioning ducts etc. were permeated with glove powder. No wonder she felt bad.
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