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The dangers medical patients face from latex allergies

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Upon being wheeled into the operating room, you expected a safe haven where surgeons and medical support staff would diligently work to resolve your health situation. You did not expect to go into anaphylactic shock related to your latex allergy.

You made the hospital well aware of your latex allergy and the medical complications due to exposure to latex. And you were informed that the operating room would be free of medical devices and supplies that contained latex. However, the hospital and its team overlooked something.

Many medical supplies contain latex

An assortment of medical supplies contains latex. The list may include surgical gloves, face masks, catheters and stethoscopes.

Typically, when surgical teams learn that a patient has a latex allergy, they schedule such surgeries first thing in the morning, remove latex-containing supplies from the operating room and sterilize the operating room.

Contact with skin and bloodstream

Reactions to latex products may prove fatal for someone with a latex allergy. For example, heart failure is possible, along with the narrowing of the airways.

Those reactions may surface when the latex products come into contact with a person’s skin, mucous membranes such as the mouth, nostrils and rectum as well as the bloodstream during surgery. Something as simple as breathing in latex particles floating in the air may trigger an allergic reaction.

Common symptoms of latex allergy

Symptoms that may surface due to a latex allergy may include:

  • Itchy and water eyes
  • The appearance of rashes, hives and itchy bumps on your skin
  • Skin itches that lead to redness and swelling
  • Continuous coughing and sneezing
  • Wheezing and the emergence of whistling sounds while breathing
  • Abdominal pain and vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the tongue and throat

When any of these symptoms surface, they are sure signs of an allergic reaction.

Safeguard measures must be in place

Any mistake by a medical team may lead to the lost lives of patients. Failing to protect a patient who has a latex allergy may lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities must ensure safeguard measures are in place to prevent any such potential tragedy.