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Allergic doctor airlifted off island

A DOCTOR who suffered a severe allergic reaction to the latex gloves he was wearing had to be airlifted to a hospital off an island off the coast of Co Mayo.

Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin, who is based in Clifden, Co Galway, had been treating patients on Inisturk Island. He attends a clinic there once every three weeks.

During his visit yesterday, he suffered a severe allergic reaction, believed to have been caused by the latex gloves he was wearing. After an emergency operation was put in place the doctor was taken to UHG in Galway city for treatment.

Dr MacLoughlin had been treating patients at 2pm when he suddenly took ill.

He suffered a severe rash and his limbs went limp. He remained conscious throughout.

He was treated on the scene by local nurse Helen Heanue who administered an antihistamine injection.

An emergency response was co-ordinated by Malin Head Coast Guard who were on the island within 20 minutes. The Rescue 115 helicopter from Shannon was also on the island within minutes.

"It was a pretty severe reaction. He had been treated at the scene and then by the helicopter crew before being transported to hospital in Galway," said a spokesperson for the Malin Head Coast Guard.

The patient was airlifted to Galway hospital where he underwent further tests to discover exactly what had caused the allergic reaction.

Locals on the island told of their surprise at the incident.

"We just couldn't believe it. No one ever expected the doctor would have to be airlifted off," one said.