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Anyone else have a latex allergy?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by betz, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. betz

    betz Layer V
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    OK, so I have always used latex gloves without a problem. Then yesterday, I put on sterile latex gloves for a procedure and my hands just started itching after about 10 minutes. I left them on for another 5 minutes or so until the attending came in and assisted. I took my gloves off and my hands were red, mostly around the cuff of the gloves. Then patches started popping up on my hands. When I got home, I had the itches all over my body, but no more rashes. I took a Zyrtec (I have allergies anyways) and put some hydrocortisone cream and it helped. My question is, is this a latex allergy? My attending said you can develop an allergy over time.

    I found out when I had an event monitor a few months ago that I am allergic to the adhesives on the EKG leads, as well as regular medical tape. I guess I am just an atopic person. :(

    Does anyone else have this problem, and what type of products should I avoid? Obviously gloves and adhesives, but any other medical equipment that causes problems? I am applying for a surgical residency, and I hope this doesnt become a problem later on.....

    Thanks for any help. :thumbup:
     
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  3. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
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    it could be the soap. i started to get dry/irrated hands after starting surg. the corticosteroid creams helped a bit. i'd recommend trying a different scrub soap...i.e. the clear triloscan/chlorhexadine/pcmx ones vs brownish betadine vs. whatever else ur institution uses.
     
  4. underwater

    underwater New Member

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    Your attending's right, and it's quite common for people to develop latex allergies over time. Ask the nursing supervisor for non-latex gloves-- every hospital has them because so many people have latex allergies. Not quite as stretchy as latex, but you get used to them. Feel better!
     
  5. betz

    betz Layer V
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    Definately not the soap because I didnt scrub in. We were just doing minor surgery procedure, so I didnt need to scrub. So, its definately the latex. I was wondering if there was anything else I should avoid. Other than the obvious product outside of the hospital :eek: (Or inside the hospital as portrayed on Grey's Anatomy ;) ). Seriously though, now I am going to be that pain-in-the-ass med student that has to bug the nurse for non-latex gloves. WTF. just my freakin luck.
     
  6. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy!
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    yes. i just use lambs skin instead...i know it's not as safe, but 9 mos later i still probably won't have any suprises at my door.
     
  7. (nicedream)

    (nicedream) Fitter Happier
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    Sandwich baggies work too.
     
  8. dr.z

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I've heard this too. You should try using the nitrile gloves next time.
     
  9. betz

    betz Layer V
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    Yeah, I am doing that. Today I was on the floor, and there were no nitrile gloves anywhere on the floor and I couldnt help with a procedure. Blah, whateva. :mad:
     
  10. underwater

    underwater New Member

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    Get a couple of boxes of them. And don't feel worried about being the "one whiny student with a latex allergy." You're not-- that's why they make non-latex gloves because so many people have latex allergies. And hospitals would much rather get you the right gloves than have to spend money treating your allergy (which they'd be responsible for, since you acquired it on the job, per se).

    It's tough to avoid latex completely-- it's in a lot of equipment tubing, etc., but this stuff usually isn't an issue since you aren't in regular contact with it.

    Another fascinating latex tidbit that I know you've been dying to hear:

    Latex gloves with powder are worse than latex without. Why? The latex actually sheds into the powder, so it's even more irritating to the skin.
     
  11. tiredmom

    tiredmom Senior Member
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    Were the offending gloves powdered? I'm actually allergic to glove powder, but not latex... gives me tons of micro-cuts and itches, then burns.
     
  12. betz

    betz Layer V
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    Non-powdered. :thumbdown:
     
  13. AF_PedsBoy

    AF_PedsBoy Stuffed Animal Overlord
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    I had a latex sensitivity too - during surgery everyone said, "Guess you're not going to be a sugeon!" as I carted around my little box of non-latex gloves with about 4 pairs of sterile nonlatex gloves tucked in there. It's absolutely not a problem, especially in peds where almost everything is nonlatex anyways.

    BTW - unless you anaphylax and have airway problems they tend to class it as a latex sensitivity. I worked with latex for about 5 years through college and before med school before I became sensitive the summer before I entered med school, and the first time I was diagnosed at Hopkins, I was like, "Stupid doctors! I've been working with it for years with no problems!" Once I got into med school I was like, "Whoops.... doo doo doo!"
     
  14. flashMD

    flashMD Member
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    I too have a latex allergy...

    That is exactly what happens to my hands when wearing latex gloves. I'd recommend avoiding them. Most big hospitals have gone to non-latex at this point. I'm surprised you had a hard time finding nitriles...

    I guess until your med center switches over, you'll be stuck carrying your own pairs around.

    Good luck!
     
  15. imnodr

    imnodr Junior Member
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    I wore latex for a couple of years w/out a problem then all of the sudden...there it is. Go find yourself a surgical pre-op questionare and there is a section dedicated to latex allergy. Bananas, avacados, and a few other things. the only thing I have had a problem with is avacados. Sometimes I just pop a couple benedryl before I eat guacamole :laugh: .

    The bad thing is the more exposures you have the worse it gets. I know a nurse that has instant anaphalyxis with even minor exposure.
     
  16. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!
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    Ever since I started third year I've been sniffy which is only about half way relieved with Claritin and I've noticed its started getting worse, I even accidentally dripped snot on a patient! Then I come home for christmas and it went away. I went to go watch some ortho surgeries (diff hosp, diff city), and started sniffing again. :mad: It doesn't always bother me but I'm sure I drive others crazy always sniffing my snot back up the nose.

    Any common allergens I could be getting in the air at mutliple hospitals?
     

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