BRIDGTON – Bridgton Hospital has instituted a latex-free policy throughout the facility, including delivery by local florists of latex balloons or those brought in by visitors. Mylar balloons are still acceptable.

The American Nurses Association states, “Natural rubber latex allergy is a serious medical problem for a growing number of patients and a disabling occupational disease among health care workers.

“Latex allergy develops from exposure to natural rubber latex, a plant substance that is used extensively to manufacture medical gloves, other medical devices and numerous consumer products.

“Allergic reactions to latex range from skin disease to asthma and anaphylaxis that can result in chronic illness, disability, career loss, hardship, and death. There is no treatment for latex allergy except complete avoidance of latex.”

“We are grateful to the community and local florists for their cooperation in assuring the hospital is latex free. Balloons are a wonderful way to brighten a patients day, and mylar balloons are perfectly acceptable at the hospital, we just cannot have latex balloons inside,” said Pam Smith, community relations and development director.

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