No Poinsettia this Christmas

Tripura Mantha Bala, MD; Mukta Panda, MD


South Med J. 2006;99(7):772-773. 

In This Article

Case Report

A 50-year-old white female with a history of latex allergy was admitted to the Baroness Erlanger Hospital of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga during the second week of December 2004, for evaluation of near syncope. Diagnostic workup for syncope was negative. Because of her known history of latex allergy, she was kept in a latex-free environment throughout her hospitalization. However, she developed a macular rash all over on her body, which was more prominent on the right upper extremity during her stay. There was no history of shortness of breath, wheezing or runny nose. A thorough investigation was done to identify the cause of her rash with special attention to rule out any accidental exposure to latex. We noticed that one of her friends had brought her a big poinsettia plant. The plant was kept on the right side of her bed. She had to lean against the plant whenever she reached for the telephone. Parenteral antihistamine relieved the itching; the rash resolved completely after the plant was removed.

The patient was provided with the information about latex allergy and its cross-reactivity and also given a medical alert bracelet regarding her latex allergy.


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