Balloons at Adele concert cause anaphylaxis for fan with latex allergy

2 months ago

For a record-breaking 600,000 Australians the #Adele concert was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sadly for one Perth fan, the seemingly harmless, falling balloons caused a severe anaphylactic reaction.

The Perth fan told 7 News that she felt her lips swelling and I couldn’t breathe” and I knew I was in trouble” shortly after the balloons were let loose. She injected herself with three EpiPens to mitigate her reaction, but after they didn’t work, family members called for an ambulance. She is recovering in hospital.

Most people who are allergic to latex have had frequent exposure to latex over many years.  Commonly people with latex allergy are also allergic to banana, avocado, chestnut and kiwi fruit due to cross-reactivity. Many also have other allergic disease such as asthma, hay fever or eczema.

Latex is used in a large number of products including bandages, baby bottle teats, baby dummies, rubber bands, clothing elastic, rubber toys, rubber grips and a wide range of medical equipment. Allergic reactions usually occur after exposure to products like gloves, balloons and condoms.

A latex allergy is an immune system reaction to proteins in natural rubber latex, a product made from rubber tree fluids. Symptoms range from minor skin irritation to life-threatening shock.

A person who is allergic to latex should avoid it. Antihistamines can help with minor reactions. Severe reactions require epinephrine (EpiPen).

Raising awareness of something as seemingly harmless as balloons is important to the the safety of those with latex allergy. If you or someone you know is displaying signs of allergic reaction, diagnosis and treatment is important for managing the symptoms properly. 


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