Latex has been identified as a potent and significant allergen. Atopic medical and dental personnel who regularly use latex gloves and patients with chronic latex exposure are at increased risk of latex allergy. If this allergy is unrecognized, anaphylactic shock can occur as a result of mucosal latex absorption at the time of surgery or procedure. Use of a nonlatex glove can prevent this potentially fatal event. Latex anaphylaxis also can occur from absorption through disrupted skin in occupationally exposed patients. Further prospective studies are needed to look at the significance of a positive latex skin test, particularly in the history-negative population. Only then can we define appropriate screening procedures.
Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.
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