Latex allergy: Two educational cases


JO’B Hourihane, Paediatrics and Child Health, Clinical Investigations Unit, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
Tel.: +353 214901237
Fax: +353 214345217


Natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy is a significant problem both for health care workers and for children with complex medical and surgical conditions that require multiple surgical interventions. Primary and secondary prophylaxis are effective measures in identified high risk groups, such as spina bifida (SB). It is therefore likely that with proper attention to prevention and secondary prophylaxis in the highest risk groups that the numbers of paediatric SB patients with NRL allergy will continue to decrease. In contrast medical awareness of established latex allergy needs to be maintained. The issue of latex sensitisation via fruit and food allergy will also remain, so some of the attention that SB patients have received in the past may need to be refocussed onto other emerging high risk groups. Innovative immunomodulatory approaches may soon translate to the clinic for latex sensitised or allergic subjects.