Allergy & Immunology
Children’s Hospital New Orleans allergy evaluations
The Allergy and Immunology Department provides a complete allergy evaluation through the patient history and physical examination, skin prick testing, patch testing and bloodwork. Our Allergy & Immunology specialists work with the patients and their caregivers to find a management plan that best suits their symptoms and lifestyle. This may include avoidance measures, medications and/or immunotherapy vaccines (allergy shots).
The physicians and staff also provide asthma evaluations, as well as treatment and action plan training for families and caregivers. For those patients with severe asthma, the physicians can determine the need for advanced treatment with biologic medications or monoclonal antibody therapy.
Food allergy evaluation
Our food allergy evaluation begins by obtaining an extensive history of the suspected allergy and may include skin testing or laboratory testing. The team works with each patient to determine the need to carry an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) and teaches proper use to both patients and caregivers. For select patients, closely monitored in-office food challenges may be appropriate to determine whether patients have outgrown certain allergies or intolerances.
For infants with certain food allergies and/or atopic dermatitis who are at increased risk for allergy to peanuts, testing and dietary guidance in accordance with recommendations by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the American Academy of Pediatrics is provided.
Atopic dermatitis care
The evaluation and management of atopic dermatitis may include testing for triggers of this disorder as well as topical or systemic therapies. Because of the association of this skin disease with other allergic disorders (asthma, food allergies, etc.), a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan is often necessary.
Evaluation of primary immunodeficiency & recurrent infections
The Allergy and Immunology Department at Children’s Hospital is the only Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Immunodeficiencies in the region. The department offers full evaluation of both adult and pediatric patients with recurrent or unusual infections or a family history of immunodeficiency disorders.
The evaluation includes laboratory quantitation of immunoglobulins and determination of vaccine responsiveness as well as quantitative and functional assays of T and B cells, phagocytes and complement when appropriate. The providers oversee immunoglobulin infusions and other biologic therapies at the Infusion Center located at Children’s Hospital’s main campus. As a designated Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center, the physicians collaborate with researchers worldwide to bring additional expertise to the region. The facility is also a member of the Primary Immunodeficiency Treatment Consortium (PIDTC), which is working to advance the treatment of those patients affected by the most severe forms of primary immunodeficiency.
Management expertise includes, but is not limited to:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Atopic dermatitis/allergic skin disorders
- Food allergy
- Urticaria (hives, welts)
- Anaphylaxis (severe reactions to foods, drugs, insect stings or ant bites)
- Angioedema (swelling)
- Primary immunodeficiency disease