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Occupational allergy to latex--life threatening reactions in health care workers. Report of three cases.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Diseases, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lódź, Poland.


During the last decade natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy has been acknowledged as a major problem among rubber glove-wearing medical personnel. Epidemiological studies carried out in the European Union member states as well as in the United States reveal that 2% to 15% of health care workers are allergic to latex. Latex allergy symptoms range from mild contact urticaria to severe systemic reactions. Serious, generalised reactions occur in 6-8% of patients allergic to latex. The risk factors for latex-induced anaphylaxis have not as yet been identified. NRL allergy symptoms may occur in the workplace as well as outside the occupational environment. The authors present clinical cases of 2 nurses and 1 laboratory worker, who developed severe allergic reactions to latex: case 1--during prophylactic gynaecologic examination, case 2--in the course of inhalative bronchial challenge test with latex aqueous extract and case 3--while blowing up balloon at home.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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