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February 1, 1980

Karaya Gum Hypersensitivity in An Enterostomal Therapist

Author Affiliations

Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cleveland

JAMA. 1980;243(5):432. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300310020011

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To the Editor.—  Sixteen cases of karaya gum hypersensitivity were reported by Figley (114:747, 1940) in 1940. In this report respiratory symptoms were the most common manifestation of karaya gum hypersensitivity. One of the current uses of karaya gum is in the routine care of ileostomies and colostomies. The karaya gum serves as a skin barrier and is available in a variety of forms, including seal rings, paste, and a dry powder in a plastic squeeze bottle. The following is a case of karaya gum hypersensitivity in a nurse providing ostomy care.

Report of a Case.—  The patient is a 27-year-old female nurse who had been employed for three years as an enterostomal therapist before showing the development of respiratory symptoms. The patient smoked one pack of cigarettes per day. There had been no significant respiratory symptoms until the spring of 1979, when she had mild persistent rhinitis. In July