Latex Allergy: An Orthopaedic Case Presentation and Considerations in Patient Care

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Latex allergy has become a challenging phenomenon in health care delivery for the last several years given the numerous products containing latex. The number of individuals with latex allergy has grown dramatically since the institution of standard precautions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1987 in response to the AIDS epidemic. The allergic reaction to latex ranges from a minor skin rash to anaphylactic shock. Preventing exposure to latex is the key to managing and preventing this allergy. Providing a safe environment for patients with latex allergy is the responsibility of all health care professionals. Identification of patients with such an allergy or those at risk is the initial step toward providing a safe environment. Care givers must have a clear understanding of the routes of exposure, effective prevention modalities, the types of allergic reactions that may be manifested by latex sensitivities, the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, and the treatment options related to the reactions. An orthopaedic case presentation represents a multidisciplinary team approach that successfully managed a patient undergoing a total knee arthroplasty.

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