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Clinical Immunology And Allergy Unit

What we do

We offer regional immunology and allergy services for adults. We provide multi-disciplinary clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment, advice and support for patients with immunodeficiency diseases, all types of allergic disorders and a range of autoimmune and auto inflammatory disorders.

Immunology Conditions and Treatment

The Immunology Service provides facilities for the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of immunological disorders including but not limited to:

• Antibody deficiency – primary and secondary
• Other rarer immune deficiencies e.g. combined immune deficiency, neutrophil defects, complement deficiency
• Hereditary and Acquired C1 inhibitor deficiency

Services include:
• Consultant led Immunology outpatient clinics for investigation and monitoring
• Joint respiratory and immunology clinics
• Immunology transition clinics
• Nurse led Immunoglobulin replacement therapy - either via the intravenous or subcutaneous route
• Home Immunoglobulin replacement therapy training for suitable patients
• Emergency treatment (within our working hours) for C1 inhibitor deficiency
• Training for home treatment of C1 inhibitor deficiency in suitable patients
• Nasal brush biopsy to investigate for primary ciliary dyskinesia

Allergic Conditions and Treatment

The Allergy service provides diagnosis, treatment, support and advice for patients with a variety of allergic disorders including but not limited to:

• Wasp/Bee venom allergy
• Drug allergy (including antibiotics, local and general anaesthetics)
• Latex allergy
• Allergen-induced asthma
• Aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease
• Allergic rhinitis
• Urticaria (Hives)
• Angioedema (Swelling)
• Anaphylaxis
• Mastocytosis

Services include:
• Written emergency treatment plans
• Training and provision of information leaflets aimed at reduction / avoidance of the allergen where possible
• Training in the correct use of antihistamines, use of adrenaline auto-injectors and nasal sprays
• Specialist Dietetic advice of food avoidance, elimination diets and nutritional advice
• Allergy skin testing
• Allergen challenge testing
• Subcutaneous desensitisation therapies
• Desensitisation to aspirin
• Omalizumab injections for severe chronic spontaneous urticaria

Skin Prick Testing

Depending on your clinical history, you may require skin prick testing but this is not always necessary. This is a painless procedure where a drop of the allergen, food or drug is placed on the skin and a tiny lancet is used to pin prick at the skin surface. This is left for 15 minutes and you are advised not to scratch or touch the area. The skin tests are then read and the doctor will review you with the results. The positive skin prick test will be like an itchy hive. The redness and itching will subside fairly quickly. An antihistamine can be taken if necessary.

Allergens available for skin prick testing are:

• Aeroallergens; house dust mite, grass pollen, tree pollen, weeds, moulds, fungi, cat, dog
• Wasp and bee venom
• Latex
• Nuts – peanut, almond, hazelnut, walnut, brazil, pistachio, cashew
• Shellfish/Fish – mussel, oyster, shrimp, lobster, crab, cod, tuna, mackerel
• Meat – chicken, pork
• Other foods: Wheat, milk, egg, soya, barley, lupin, oat, rye

Specialist Dietician

The Dietician is involved in the assessment, diagnosis and education of patients with all types of food hypersensitivity and is responsible for:

• Use of appropriate exclusion diets to diagnose specific food intolerances
• Education of patients on how to follow appropriate exclusion diets
• Assessment of nutritional adequacy and advice on nutritional supplementation
• Education of patients on dietary modification for irritable bowel syndrome
• Development of food challenges to aid diagnosis of food allergy
• Nutritional management of immunology patients
• Provide advice on more general dietetic problems e.g. diabetes, nutritional support, coeliac disease where required If you have or are likely to have a food intolerance, it can be helpful to bring along a food and symptom diary kept over a couple of weeks, as these can help identify patterns and reaction.
 

 

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