Immunology and Infectious Diseases

testing samples

Our Immunology and Infectious Diseases Service investigates and manages children with possible recurrent or unusual infections.

Services

  • a variety of primary immunodeficiency disorders requiring antibiotic prophylaxis, GCSF injection or replacement immunoglobulin (this includes hospital-based immunoglobulin infusions and training and consequent monitoring and support for families on home immunoglobulin replacement)
  • hereditary angio-oedema
  • liaising with dental, surgical and anaesthetic teams where potential life threatening reactions may occur
  • prompt identification of children with severe combined immunodeficiency requiring input from the bone marrow transplant unit in Newcastle
  • providing advice on children with recurrent or possible unusual infections within the hospital and to GPs and consultants in surrounding district general hospitals

Who we see

  • children with recurrent infections or fever with no identifiable cause
  • children with unusual infections or infections acquired abroad
  • children with definite deficiencies in immunoglobulin production including delayed maturation, hypo, or agamaglobulinaemia, sub class and specific antibody deficiency
  • children with combined immunodeficiency (cellular and immunoglobulin)
  • chronic or recurrent neutropaenia
  • complement deficiency
  • C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency

How the service works

The majority of children are seen in outpatient clinics or on the daycare ward. Children who require specific blood investigations and additional vaccinations are often seen on daycare.

The clinical service is run by a paediatric consultant and a nurse specialist. The nurse specialist also carries out home visits to monitor home immunoglobulin therapy patients and provide support to families whose children are seen in the service.

For inpatient management of immunodeficiency or infectious diseases the team works closely with the microbiologist and infection control team. The paediatrician and microbiologist meet weekly to discuss infection problems throughout the hospital.

A joint clinic is held in Sheffield with the Newcastle primary immunodeficiency team four times a year for more complex children and children under shared care following bone marrow transplant.

The Immunology and Infectious Diseases Service also works closely with the Respiratory Service as the patient groups frequently overlap. The clinic is run alongside one of the respiratory clinics which enables some children who are seen by both services to be seen on the same day.

Referrals

Children can be referred directly by their general practitioner, but more frequently from other hospital consultants either at Sheffield Children’s Hospital or the surrounding district general hospitals.

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