LATEX ALLERGY POLICY/PROTOCOL
Any patient who is at risk for having a latex allergic reaction will be so identified
and receive latex precautions in the perioperative environment. The goal is to
eliminate patient expose to latex allergy-causing proteins (antigens).
II. General Information:
A. Latex Allergy refers to a patient with a known or suspected allergy to latex
that will require latex precautions at all times. The following patient groups
will be considered as having a latex allergy:
1. Any patient with a known latex allergic reaction during prior surgical
or medical interventions.
2. Any patient with a history of allergy symptoms during non-medical
latex contact (i.e. blowing up balloons).
3. Any patient with spina bifida, including myelomeningocele and sacral
or lumbosacral angenis; congenital urological anomalies such as
cloaca or bladder extrophy.
B. Latex Risk refers to a patient who may have been at high risk for developing
a latex allergy. The following patient groups will be considered as high risk
for latex sensitivity and will be closely evaluated to determine the need for
latex precautions in the delivery of care:
1. A person involved in the manufacturer of items containing natural
2. Any patient with a history of multiple allergies, especially to foods
such as bananas, chestnuts, kiwi, avocados, other tropical fruits.
3. A patient who has undergone multiple surgical procedures, especially
during the first year of life.
4. Any patient with a history of asthma.
5. Any chronically ill patient.
6. Any patient who wears latex gloves on a regular basis (i.e. healthcare
worker, food preparation, etc.).
7. A patient with a history of a spinal cord injury.
III. Specific Information:
1. All patients will be asked about any allergy to medications, food,
ETOH or latex/rubber preoperatively.
2. Any patient needing latex precautions will have a latex precaution
sticker placed at end of information on the regular hospital
identification band. The patient’s chart will be labeled as “latex
precautions” in addition to a sign being placed on the patient’s
bed/stretcher and door.
3. A notation will be made on the O.R. schedule whenever a patient has a
known latex allergy/risk.
B. Reaction Prevention
1. Patient will be placed in a private exam area/room prepared to provide
a latex safe environment. Whenever possible, schedule the known
latex sensitive patient as the first appointment of the day when
airborne particles are the lowest.
To prepare a latex safe environment:
a. Remove all latex containing products (gloves, tourniquets,
tape, etc.) from the room. If latex products cannot be removed,
items should be located in a closed storage area, such as,
cabinets and drawers.
b. Close the cupboard and mark then “do not use-latex allergy”.
c. After removing latex items, thoroughly clean patient’s
room/exam area using Nitrile gloves to remove contaminated
latex-containing dust. Do not wear latex or rubber gloves to
d. Bed mattress, stretcher mattress or exam tables do contain latex
and should be covered completely with a sheet.
e. Any patient care item, such as the stethoscope, blood pressure
cuff, EKG lead wires, or pulse ox., and probe which is not
metal, plastic, or nylon could be made of natural rubber latex
(NRL). The latex portion of such item should not come in
contact with the patient’s skin. Wrap latex portion of item with
the latex free adhesive compression bandage, gauze, webril or
stockinette and secure with LF tape.
f. Restock room with latex free gloves.
g. Place purple Latex precaution sign on patient’s door/exam
h. Stock room with latex free supplies needed for the patient.
2. Prior to contact with patients requiring latex precautions, personnel
will wash hands to remove latex proteins.
3. Communicate the need for latex precautions to all areas and staff
involved with patient’s care.
4. The Pharmacy and Anesthesiology departments should be given
advance notification of at least 24 hours prior to