The Department is committed to improving the lives of children with allergy and immune disorders. To do this, we focus on four main roles:
Please click on Prereferral Guidelines food allergy.pdf for access. Please remember that indefinite referrals are no longer acceptable.
The Department provides outpatient and inpatient care to children with allergic and immune disorders in Victoria and Tasmania.
Patients are triaged based upon the clinical problem and may be prioritised into a specialised clinic (e.g. baby clinic, anaphylaxis and immune deficiency clinic) or booked into a general allergy clinic.
Allergy diagnosis is made on the basis of a detailed history, including a family history of allergy, details of any reactions to foods, any history of asthma, eczema, colic or hay fever, birth history and record of growth and dietary history.
Tests, such as skin prick tests or blood tests and challenge tests may be recommended.
Skin prick tests are when a small amount of allergen extract (in the form of a liquid) is pricked into the skin. An allergic reaction appears as a lump (weal) at the scratch site. An allergy specialist must read the result, as the test needs to be interpreted carefully. A skin prick test takes about 30 minutes.The test can be performed on babies, but a baby less than 12 months of age has less reactive skin and so the results may be lessened. Registered nurses, who have undergone extensive training in the procedure perform skin tests and, the result is interpreted by medical specialists with experience in allergy diagnosis and management.
This is a highly specialised test that is performed by experienced allergy specialists and nursing staff in a safe clinical environment. The test takes approximately half a day and involves giving a child increasing amounts of an allergen (e.g. food or drug) the child is observed closely after each dose for any clinical allergic response.
Only one food is challenged at a time, and if tolerated, families are given a plan and instructions on how to continue at home.
Thousands of families have learnt through challenges what foods their child can safety introduce back into their diet. Challenges empower families and children to take control of their lives.
Challenges are associated with a risk of severe allergic reaction and should only be preformed by Allergy Specialists experienced in the administration of a challenge and in a setting where resuscitation facilities are available.
Desensitisation programs (immunotherapy) are available for insect (usually bee) venom, house dust mite, pollens and other inhalant allergens (eg. cat dander). It involves a series of injections that build up to a maintenance dose given over several months (in the case of standard immunotherapy) or over two days (in the case of ultra rush immunotherapy for bee venom). The maintenance dose is then continued monthly for 3-5 years.The Department Allergist recommends immunotherapy based on skin prick tests, pathology results and the child's history.
The Department is involved in a number of exciting research projects that include:
Allergy & Immune Disorders
Gut and Liver
Allergy & Immune Disorders
Gut and Liver
The Allergy and Immunology Department is committed to promoting and advancing training of specialists in paediatric allergic disorders to improve community access to allergy care.
There are four different levels of training:
This training aims to develop paediatricians with a special interest in allergy and will equip them with the experience and skills needed to deliver primary and secondary paediatric allergy services within their practice communities.
This training can be undertaken over either 12 months full time or 24 months part time.
The breadth of the Department's training program will help to improve access to paediatric allergy services for children in Victoria.
The department has a dynamic training team that have been delivering education and training for over 10 years to the community. Our aim is to provide research based training that is relevant and practical for individuals and workplaces to improve general community knowledge of allergic and immune disorders, and their effective prevention and treatment.All of our training is provided by experienced allergy staff that also hold Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. We currently deliver training and education sessions to the following sectors:
For more information on our training please click on here: Community Education
One of the key roles of the department is to influence health policy for the State of Victoria. The Department advocates for a concerted and comprehensive approach to the prevention and management of allergic and immune disorders. We aim to support the Government create policy based on comprehensive and up to date evidence based research and information.
We wish to facilitate the progression of allergy agenda forward and to support community awareness of allergic and immune disorders.
In This Section
Telephone +61 3 9345 5522
50 Flemington Road Parkville
Victoria 3052 Australia