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Short Notes on Allergies 2017 - Dr Mark Burgin

20/10/17.Dr. Mark Burgin BM BCh (oxon) MRCGP considers the elements that should be included in a primer for clinical negligence cases involving allergies.

Allergic reactions are the body’s response to danger and generally involve antibodies binding the allergen and activating white blood cells to attract other cells and respond to the allergen.

One type of response is based upon Immunoglobin E (IgE) antibodies and the release of histamine which causes the patient to swell up and may collapse in anaphylactic shock (for example penicillin or bee sting).

Other responses are more controversial as there may be no specific test for the allergen with gastrointestinal and eczema being common reactions.

There are two types of test that are useful in the management of allergies one is based upon IgE called RAST which tests for common allergens and skin patch testing.

Both types of test rely on knowing what is likely to be causing the reaction so without a clear exposure and response, testing can be guesswork...

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