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Message started by Wanda on 30.10.12 at 19:26:45

Title: Hi There,
Post by Wanda on 30.10.12 at 19:26:45

Hi There,
My name is Wanda and I'm new here. I have a severe Latex allergy alongside other allergies  :)
I was hoping to find anyone who has gone through allergy testing recently so as to know what will happen when I have mine next week.
I'm not sure about these forum things so I may need a little help. It will also be lovely to meet other sufferers.

Title: Re: Hi There,
Post by Bob on 31.10.12 at 08:47:55

Hi Wanda and welcome to the forum.   It's some years now since my wife was tested but the method then was skin prick testing.   Just a word of warning though.   The first time she went she was told that she was not allergic to latex and it would appear that this method can throw up false negatives.

Good luck with it.

Title: Re: Hi There,
Post by Wanda on 31.10.12 at 14:00:22

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply. I too went for skin prick testing many years ago in London. At the time I had no signs of a latex allergy. I have many other allergies which result in all kinds of symptoms including anaphylaxis for which I carry an epipen. On several occasions I have felt disbelieved by the medical profession. But 2 years ago during foot surgery where no latex was present I went into shock during the procedure which resulted in my heart rate dropping to 20 and spent 3 days in intensive care. This has thrown a different light on things as they no longer know exactly what caused it.
Last time of testing they refused to do a direct challenge due to the severity of my reactions and risk to myself,and I was just wondering if this has changed in any way?.
Not sure as to where I should be posting this so could you point me in the right direction or if you know of any info on the net that explains about latex testing etc?

Thanks again
Wanda  :'(

Title: Re: Hi There,
Post by Liz944 on 31.10.12 at 16:38:26

Welcome to the forum Wanda.

Your doctor can arrange to do a RAST blood test for latex if it is not safe for you to have skin prick testing done...

Title: Re: Hi There,
Post by Jen on 11.11.12 at 18:34:46

Hello Wanda!

Welcome to the forum!

There are several tests the doctors can use for type I latex allergy.

The skin prick test can be used with a standardised solution or by using a bit of moistened latex glove. For the glove it is laid on the skin, pricked through with the lancet and then the glove is removed and you wait for 15 minutes in the usual way.  A positive result comes up like a nettl rash (hive) and a negative stays flat and calm.  Unfortunately if you have had antihistamines a few days before the test it can be a false negative, and sometimes, despite using the proper solutions etc it may not work.  Other medications, skin cream can also stop the test working.

A RAST test as Liz has said, is a blood test to look for antibodies to latex.  It can be done when you are on antihistamines, but once again the test is not 100% accurate and you can get false negatives.

Both the skin prick tests and the RAST tests are considered the safest ways of testing for an allergy as the risk to the patient is very small.  If all remains negative the doctor may offer a challenge.  Where I work this involves wearing a latex and a non latex glove for 15 minutes and looking for any signs of a reaction.  If there is none, the patient then rubs the latex glove on one lip to see if there is any reaction there.  As with the skin prick tests antihistamines may interfear with the test.  It is also more risky to the patient as they are being exposed to more latex and therefore may have a bigger reaction.  Because of this it should be performed in a place where rescue equipment is available and there are doctors there. Throughout the test the patient should have their blood pressure, pulse, and peak flow readings (lung capacity) monitored so that if there is anaphylactic changes the test can be abandoned.  Where I work the doctors generally use the challenge to rule out latex allergy rather than to confirm it because of the risk to the patient.

Take care

Jen (Type I latex allergic and specialist allergy nurse!)

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