Latex Allergy

GENERAL INFORMATION:

What is a latex allergy? A latex allergy is an immune system reaction to the protein in rubber latex. Latex gloves and other latex products contain this protein. You may have a reaction if you touch or breathe in the protein. A latex allergy may begin as a mild skin reaction and become worse each time you are exposed. Repeated exposure to latex may lead to a severe allergy to latex and can be life-threatening.

What products contain latex? Latex is used to make many rubber products found in homes, hospitals, schools, and the workplace. Avoid contact with products that may contain latex:

What increases my risk for a latex allergy?

What are the signs and symptoms of a latex allergy? You may have symptoms only where latex has touched you. You may have more severe symptoms that include areas of your body not exposed to latex. Any of the following may develop from minutes up to 48 hours after exposure to latex:

How is a latex allergy diagnosed? Your healthcare provider will ask about other health conditions you have. He will ask about your signs and symptoms, and blood may be taken for tests. You may also need skin tests. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the tests that you need.

How is a latex allergy treated?

What steps do I need to take for signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis?

What safety precautions do I need to take?

Call 911 for signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as trouble breathing, swelling in your mouth or throat, or wheezing. You may also have itching, a rash, hives, or feel like you are going to faint.

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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