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Latex allergies can prove fatal in medical situations

An allergic reaction to latex can occur inside an operating room. And this can prove fatal to anyone who knowingly or unknowingly is allergic to latex, which can be found in common medical supplies inside a hospital or clinic.

What can happen to a person with a latex allergy wheeled into an operating room? Contact with latex caused by a careless medical team member potentially leads to a severe drop in blood pressure, narrowing of airways, difficulty breathing and, potentially, cardiac arrest. There are many complications. Such preventable situations can lead to tragedy, proving fatal or leading to serious and permanent disabilities.

Contact with latex, inhaling the particles

A latex allergy stems from proteins found in natural latex rubber, which often is used in medical supplies such as surgical gloves, face masks, stethoscopes and catheters. An allergic reaction may surface through contact with latex-containing medical supplies or even simply by inhaling the latex particles found on them.

Here are a few symptoms resulting from a latex allergy:

  • Itchy skin that often leads to swelling and signs of redness
  • The swift development of body rashes
  • Eyes that water and itch
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory issues including severe difficulty breathing

Medical facilities must take great care of their patients, and that includes the patients who are allergic to latex. When patients with latex allergies receive medical treatment, they typically alert this fact to health care staff. Then, at every step, hospitals and clinics must take the proper precautionary measures to ensure patient safety and avert any potential tragedy.