• Allergy; anaphylaxis, latex


Five young women, all of whom had anaphylactic responses in operating units, are described. Three of them worked in a hospital, three showed immediate hyper sensitivity to fruit and all had known urticaria to latex. Anaphylaxis appeared progressively 15 to 30 minutes after injection of anaesthetic drugs. Skin tests with these drugs were negative. Skin prick tests through gloves and with four different allergen preparations (saline which had been incubated with gloves and three kinds of latex) were positive. Human basophil degranulation tests with all four allergens were positive and radio allergo sorbent tests to latex were also positive. IgE-dependent allergy to latex may be investigated by questionnaire and if necessary by prick tests before each operation to prevent anaphylaxis due to surgical gloves.