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EMT Allergies

25 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Everyone,

I was just wondering if any of you have allergies to various things that might affect your job. I am allergic to smoke, cats, dogs, dust, grass etc. But my worst allergies are the cats, dogs and smoke.

It really depends on the situation. Like with dogs I have to actually pet them or be around them for an extended period of time. With cats if I stay for an extended period of time I usually get watery eyes and start sneezing.

I take an albuteral inhaler when I need it and singular at night time for my asthma but I have heard people tell me that they take an allergy pill in the morning and they are fine all day. I know I can take my inhaler and should probably carry that with me on calls but as you all know can only take that so often.

I am concerned about going into the homes of pts. that may have some of these present.

Any advice, tips, stories please share.

Thanks!

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Posted · Report post

I have really bad seasonal allergies. So when the pollen is high i spend the whole day blowing my nose and rubbing my eyes. And when i say the whole day im not jokeing. I can stop long enough to start an IV but thats about it. One day I took 500mg of benadryl in an attempt to finaly get it to stop, but it didnt work. Im convinced im immune to benadryl...

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Posted · Report post

Yes I am allergic to EMT's.....................

oh wait, that wasn't the question, my bad............ :D

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Posted · Report post

Yes I am allergic to EMT's...

There's a lot of that going around! :D

But yeah... seasonal allergies wipe me out a couple of days every fall, usually. Sometimes spring too. I have to take a day or two off because I simply can't function. Patients don't want you touching them when your eyes are all swollen, your nose is running, and you're sneezing every few seconds. And if you take something for it, you end up zombified, which is even worse. That's just how it is in Texas.

You didn't mention anything about seasonal allergies, so you might not do too bad. You shouldn't be spending just a whole lot of time in any given house anyhow. Even if it causes a flare up, it should be self limiting since you are removing yourself from the irritant atmosphere. A hit of non-sedating antihistamine like fexofenadine should be sufficient to overcome the mild symptoms you describe.

I can tell you that your allergies would get much relief here in Iraq. Come on over! :D

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Posted · Report post

I have MCS ( Multiple Chemical Sensitivity ). I react to pretty much all chemicals, perfumes, cleaning supplies, etc. I get extremely ill. I do my job. Like Dust said we should not be in a location very long. As far as clean up after call, I wear gloves and open all doors on ambulance. At the station I do chores to. While I get mildly sick with short term exposures I have found that by eating good food rather than fast food and exercising outside ( i.e. walking around the ambulance or station ) that I keep myself sharp and fit to take care of patients.

So heres my advice: Find something that helps you to cope with your allergies. Avoid anything like benadryl that has potential to make a person drowsy. Don't start a new allergy med while on duty, try it while off duty in case it wipes you out. Looks bad if you fall asleep on your patient. Eat right and exercise.

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Posted · Report post

if you limit your time to a certain amount in the area you should be fine

dont deliberately stay longer than needed

maybe seeing a dr for a non otc allerfgy drug will help

there are many that will help with non seasonal allergies like dust,dander etc i have seen ads all over for them and have taken a few myself because i am in misery until the first frost every fall (like now it hasnt come yet and it sucks!!!!!!)

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Shortly after entering the field of EMS I developed a latex allergy. If I have an exposure I need diphenhydramine pretty quick and the one time I managed to breathe in the powder from latex gloves I had to have an albuterol/atrovent neb too. It is usually no issue since in my own agency we have NOTHING latex on the trucks, because it all got taken off when the agency realized they had two employees with latex allergies.

But as a student it can present a problem with riding with other squads in the area or during clinicals at the ED. It gets hard because they don't always know what is and is not latex (funny considering patients have allergies too!) Some of the mannequins at school are latex so I have to wear gloves during class scenarios. Many of the sterile gloves in prepackaged medical procedure kits are latexm, but I just put on a pair of nitrile underneath.

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As a kid I use to have to take allergy shots until I was about 16. Some as often as five shots every other day. Even though the seasonal allergies and the pet allergies don't bother me so much now, but when it comes to certain types of perfumes, colognes, etc., they nail me. I do carry a Combavent inhaler all the time now.

Growing up we raised horses. Even though I was allergic to them, as long as I kept my face away from them or kept my hands away from my face, especially after grooming them, I was OK. It was that way with most pets too.

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Posted · Report post

I'm allergic to patients.

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I'm allergic to patients.

Yes, sometimes we all think we are allergic to patients, but we have other allergies like latex that we can get in the field if we use it on our units, if we use it to much, yes, I know people that this has happened to so my squad does not use latex materials.

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