A recent challenge in the hospital environment is the care of patients with latex sensitivity. Since the introduction of universal precautions in the late 1980s, reports of latex sensitivity have soared. The sensitization process and development of latex allergy and its effect on the hospitalized patient are currently under much discussion. Medical personnel must stay abreast of new data and product information to provide up-to-date care for patients, as well as protection for themselves. Statistics have shown a dramatic increase in the incidence of allergy to latex-containing products. Depending on the source, the incidence is thought to range from 15% to 17% for health care workers, as opposed to 1% to 3% for the general population. Other high-risk groups report as much as a 73% incidence of latex allergies. This article explores the issue of latex allergy and its impact on patient care. Signs and symptoms, as well as the etiology of allergic reactions to latex are examined. The basics of the manufacturing and packaging processes are explored, along with elements of diagnosis and screening, with emphasis on the role of the peri-anesthesia nurse.