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The RCPCH care pathway for children with latex allergies: an evidence- and consensus-based national approach

Abstract

Aims The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Science and Research Department was commissioned by the Department of Health to develop national care pathways for children with allergies; the latex allergy pathway is the seventh pathway. The pathways focus on defining the competences to improve the equity of care received by children with allergic conditions.

Method The RCPCH latex allergy pathway was developed by a multidisciplinary working group and was based on a comprehensive review of evidence. The pathway was reviewed by a broad group of stakeholders including the public and approved by the Allergy Care Pathways Project Board and the RCPCH Clinical Standards Committee.

Results The results are presented in four parts, the evidence review, pathway mapping, external review and core knowledge documents. The evidence review highlighted the paucity of recent evidence for latex allergy in childhood. The review found that the diagnostic sensitivity of different latex extracts for skin-prick testing may differ. It also noted that health professionals should be aware of latex allergy, and care should be taken to avoid contact with latex in young infants, especially when there is a family history for latex allergy. The pathway entry points are defined by the severity at presentation.

Conclusions The latex allergy pathway provides a guide for training and development of services to facilitate improvements in delivery as close to the patients home as possible. The authors recommend that this pathway is implemented locally by a multidisciplinary team with a focus on creating networks between primary, secondary and tertiary care to improve services for children with allergic conditions.

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