November 3, 2008

Allergies

Since I've been a nurse, I've had to ask patients about allergies to medication, latex, and any other allergies they may have. And I've heard quite a few. Some are legitimate, like to penicillin after they had an anaphylactic reaction. Other are not. I think sometimes people misunderstand an expected side effect and an allergy. I also take for granted that because I work in health care, I understand it better than a lot of people. And while I understand health care, I admit that I know jack squat about business, insurance and technical computer stuff. But, anyway, morphine is a drug people commonly think they are allergic to. I've had several people say they are allergic to morphine because they got a little itchy. I know how much itching from morphine sucks because I had a very bad case of it after my c-sections, but that is a side effect, not an allergy. Awhile back, I had a patient tell me they were allergic to pitocin, a medication used to cause contractions and to induce/augment labor. Her reaction to the med? She had said that she was given pitocin when she was induced with her last baby, and it made her crampy. Well, yes, it will do that, and that is what we want. But my favorite allergy, I heard this weekend. We had a mom going back for a c-section. As happens in c-sections, mom was given oxygen by a face mask. Mom started telling the anesthesiologist that she was allergic to oxygen. He politely said that she could not be allergic to oxygen, as she needed that to breathe and it is in the air around her, but she was adamant. He suggested maybe it was the mask or the tubing. Nope, it was the oxygen. He kept trying to explain how that couldn't be possible, but she remained firm. She did continue to get the O2 and had no ill effects.

6 comments:

Jessica said...

Yeah, the oxygen allergy lady would've had me cracking up. That is kind of weird. But he's probably right...it probably was the tubing and such that she was allergic to. I know that I have a latex allergy, and when I told the nurses when I went in to have D, they looked at me like I was crazy. I should know right? lol...Then they labeled everything with bright stickers that I had the allergy, which was fine, but I totally felt like an outcast then! lol...oh well. Better safe than sorry right? It's understandable.

Hope your Halloween was good. Do you have pictures of the kiddies in their costumes?

AtYourCervix said...

Sometimes you just can't get through to some people.

I sometimes wonder if other nurses think I'm nuts, because of all of the drug/food/latex allergies that I have.

THAT GIRL said...

oh yes... i love lortab allergies cuz it makes them have projectile vomiting... but they can tolerate norco or vikodin... lol.

but oxygen... that's the best one i've heard!

LCT4J said...

This really had me laughing out loud. My 11 year old asked what was so funny and I mentioned the lady allergic to oxygen and she thought that was ridiculous. Of course, she regularly points out how she is allergic to mayonnaise...

little d, S.N. said...

hey...if a patient says they get projectile vomiting, I dont care if it's an allergic reaction or not,its still nice to avoid :-D

LDRN said...

I know it's a bit late, but I've had people allergic to aspirin & ibuprofen (caused them upset stomach/nausea/vomiting), and pain med (caused vomiting), and my personal fave benadryl (you guessed it, it caused vomiting or another person claimed it caused a rash--umm okay...).
Now I know people can have reactions to these meds (ie: benadryl making your heart race or something else legit), and I cannot take ASA or IB due to my asthma (it can trigger it or make it worse), but I am always clear on that. I don't claim them as an allergy, but I do watch the amt I take (like with Toradol)....
Oxygen is a new one though...