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Allergies and intolerances

For £8 my daughter could have avoided a severe reaction

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tatt · 11/06/2005 08:21

I have just learnt, from evidence to a parliamentary select committee (see below), that our gp could probably have requested a test that would have quickly confirmed our daughter's nut allergy. The cost of the test is £8. As it was we had to wait until she had a moderate/severe reaction before we could get a referral to an allergy clinic. It then took months before we got an appointment. When we finally got to the clinic more general tests showed she also had other allergies but had this test been carried out sooner we should have had an epipen. We would also have been able to take more action to avoid nuts. The test can be performed for a range of allergens so is also suitable for most other suspected anaphylactic reactions.

I suppose the NHS can't afford to pay for a test for all children, or even all children from families with a history of allergy. However if this test is available so readily at laboratories the NHS could make a little money by offering it privately. It should certainly be offered to any child whose clinical history suggests nut allergy.

Obviously a single test is not much use for children suspected of multiple allergies or for those suspected of food intolerance rather than an IgE mediated allergy. Those who tested positive would still need a consultant referral to test for other allergies. However anyone who suspects a particular type of IgE allergy might like to know your gp can test for it.

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