Latex Allergy

Latex allergy is a concern in children and adults with meningomyelocele. It occurs in 24 to 67 percent of children with meningomyelocele. Increasingly severe allergic-type reactions are being reported related to latex and latex-containing products. Reactions vary from mild local reactions to anaphylaxis. Children may present with local or generalized swelling, hives or edema, itching, or a rash. Runny nose or eyes, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, stridor, and difficulty swallowing or breathing also may be presenting complaints. 1314 and 15 A history of latex allergy or sensitivity should be obtained in all children with meningomyelocele prior to any examination or procedure in which latex gloves or other latex-containing supplies may be used. Many routine medical supplies contain latex, including frequently used supplies on the crash cart. (See Table 134-4. for a list of latex-containing supplies.) Many programs are recommending that identification bands be worn by children with meningomyelocele and latex allergy. If a severe allergic reaction is observed, the child should be discharged with an Epi-Pen, and formal testing for latex sensitivity should be done in the private physician's office. All surgeons providing care and the local anesthesiologist should be notified. This can be done by notifying the local physician or clinic responsible for the child's specialty care.

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