NCLEX RN Practice Question # 486

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 Latex Allergy ( NCLEX Review)  


  • Latex allergy is a hypersensitivity to latex.
  • The source of the allergic reaction is thought to be the proteins in the natural rubber latex or the various chemicals used in the manufacturing process of latex gloves.
  • Symptoms of the allergy can range frommild contact dermatitis to moderately severe symptoms of rhinitis, conjunctivitis, urticaria, and bronchospasm to severe life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Common routes of exposure)

  • Cutaneous: Natural latex gloves and latex balloons
  • Percutaneous and parenteral: Intravenous lines and catheters; hemodialysis equipment
  • Mucosal: Use of latex condoms, catheters, airways, and nipples
  • Aerosol: Aerosolization of powder from latex gloves can occur when gloves are dispensed from the box or when gloves are removed from the hands.

At-risk individuals

  • Health care workers
  • Individuals who work in the rubber industry
  • Individuals having multiple surgeries
  • Individuals with spina bifida
  • Individuals who wear gloves frequently, such as food handlers, hairdressers, and auto mechanics
  • Individuals allergic to kiwis, bananas, pineapples, tropical fruits, grapes, avocados, potatoes, hazelnuts, and water chestnuts


  • Anaphylaxis or type I hypersensitivity is a response to natural rubber latex .
  • A delayed type IV hypersensitivity reaction can occur; symptoms of contact dermatitis include pruritus, edema, erythema, vesicles, papules, and crusting and thickening of the skin and can occur within 6 to 48 hours following exposure.

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