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Latex & Peri-Operative Reactions

An allergy to latex can be very serious, and even life-threatening depending on severity.  People at risk of having an allergy to latex include anyone who wears latex gloves regularly (such as health care workers), multiple surgeries, regular exposure to rubber latex (such as in a factory), and any person who has other allergies as their immune system is already highly sensitive.

Reactions to latex include rash or hives where the latex came in contact with the skin,  itching, nasal symptoms, asthma exacerbation and less frequently anaphylaxis.

Only natural latex rubber can cause an allergy, which is found in products made from the sap of the rubber tree.  Synthetically formulated latex materials such as latex paint do not pose harm for an allergic reaction.  People who have reactions to latex may also react to foods including apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, chestnut, kiwi, melons, papaya, raw potato and tomato.

Blood work and skin testing can be completed to confirm or rule out a latex allergy.  If you are found to have a latex allergy, the only treatment is avoidance of latex all together.