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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
Minerva Anestesiologica 1999 March;65(3):101-7
Latex allergy. A not rare intraoperative manifestation
Cantini Q., Landi S., Rizzo L., Benvenuti S., Conti M., La Torre M. S., Loru G., Novelli G. P.
Università degli Studi - Firenze, Istituto di Anestesia e Rianimazione
Latex allergy has become a real problem among both surgical staff (paramedics and physicians) and patients especially pediatric patients with urogenital malformations and spina bifida.
Latex allergy is produced from both natural molecules which compose the substance produced from Hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree) and industrial additives contents in latex devices.
Diagnosis of latex allergy may be carried out through a preoperative Prik-test.
A characteristic of latex allergy reaction is the starting of symptoms (more than 15 minutes after allergen contact). Pathophysiology of latex allergy is the same of all allergic reactions; it is an antigen-antibody reaction and type I or II reaction may occur.
There are a lot of devices that surgeons and anesthesists use in the operative theatre and that should not be used in presence of a patient with latex allergy. Guaranteed latex-free devices should always be present in store.