Latex Allergy Essay

864 Words4 Pages
After today’s lecture I was puzzled about how a latex allergy comes about and why children with Spina Bifida are more prone than other children to develop this allergy. When researching latex I found the following: “Latex is a natural product found in the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis.” (DeQueiroz, 2009)Latex is a great cause of allergic contact dermatitis, which is a delayed cell mediated, or Type IV allergic response. There are proteins present in latex gloves that are from natural rubber, and some of these proteins are linked to causing delayed allergic reactions in people who are allergic to latex. These proteins from the rubber interact with the person’s skin proteins and trigger a response from the body’s T cells which are a main immune defense response to allergens, and these T cells make reserved cells to “remember the allergen” and some to go and fight off the allergen. The second time a latex-allergic patient comes in contact with the latex proteins will produce a more dramatic, more aggressive response to the proteins, and the person will have a more severe allergic reaction. Reactions to latex have been known to be as severe as anaphylaxis. This is an allergic reaction that stimulates your body to release an immune response on the second or other subsequent exposures that triggers your body to dilate your blood vessels in your periphery, shunting blood away from vital organs, decreasing the oxygen supply to the heart, brain and other life sustaining organs, and eventually leading to shock, due to decreased blood volume in the body’s core and vital organ tissue death due to decreased oxygenation. The end outcome of anaphylaxis is death if emergency treatment is not received immediately! (Tortura, 2010) Children with frequent exposure to latex or having frequent surgical procedures are at highest risk for developing sensitivity. (DeQueiroz, 2009)
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