You and your family expected no risks in the trusted hands of medical professionals. Your calendar noted, for this day, a routine medical procedure expected to take less than an hour, so you head to the hospital. However, during the procedure, something goes awry. You have an allergic reaction.
An incessant itch encompasses your skin, while a rash envelops your arms. Within moments, it becomes difficult to breathe, potentially a sign of anaphylactic shock. With the swelling of your airway, cardiac arrest becomes a serious and potential threat. These are clear signs of a latex allergy.
A number of warning signs
An allergic reaction to latex can be set in motion from a number of medical supplies found in a clinic or hospital. It can originate with the latex gloves worn by health care professionals as well as face masks, stethoscopes and catheters. Any such latex-containing supplies can cause your body to have an allergic reaction due to proteins in natural rubber latex.
These reactions usually are triggered when a person has direct contact with a latex-containing product or simply inhales latex particles found on these products. Symptoms include:
- Itchy skin that can lead to inflammation, swelling and redness
- The development of rashes, typically on the arms
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Sneezing and coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
However, some of these symptoms can even surface after a surgery or medical procedure. Such cases often represent the first time in which patients find out that they are allergic to latex.
If you know that you have a latex allergy, alert your physician so that the medical professionals can take proper precautions beforehand. In the past several years, medical facilities have grown much more aware of the problems that surface due to latex allergies.