The Portland’s new consultant-led paediatric Food and Drug Allergy Challenge Service has proven to be a valuable addition to the hospital having recently completed its 50th challenge.
The service offers allergy testing in the safety of the dedicated Paediatric Day Case Unit with PICU back up if necessary and is the gold standard for the safe diagnosis of food and/or drug allergy.
Dr George Du Toit said: “We are proud to have now safely completed 50 incremental food and medication challenges. This service is unique in the private sector and offers to our patients the opportunity to undergo the 'gold standard' diagnostic investigation which is undertaken when other allergy tests prove equivocal.”
The ‘challenge’ usually lasts around 5 hours, and children benefit from one-on-one specialist nursing care to observe and respond to any signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. The child then remains under the supervision of the specialist nurse for two hours in case of a cumulative reaction occurring. This service is consultant led, either by Professor Gideon Lack or Dr George Du Toit and is supported by a specialist CNS, Louise Gibbs.
Dr Du Toit added: “The challenges are undertaken in a state of the art day unit on weekdays and Saturdays. The service has enjoyed excellent patient feedback to date. “
Allergy Nurse Specialist, Louise Gibbs recalls one particular challenge whereby they’d received more than they’d bargained for: “Mum went into labour while her son was with us for a food challenge. Luckily Dad was also there and we managed to complete the challenge between contractions and the family were discharged from us in time to get mum to the Portland’s maternity ward to give birth to a healthy baby girl!”
Looking ahead to the future of the service, Dr Du Toit said: “We look forward to developing this service further in an attempt to continue developing the world class Allergy and Gastroenterology Services now offered at the Portland.”
For further information or to arrange an appointment please contact CNS, Louise Gibbs on 020 7390 6150 or at PH.PortlandAllergy@HCAHealthcare.co.uk