June 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

UCLA Opens New Food & Drug Allergy Center

The UCLA Food and Drug Allergy Care Center at 1245 16th Street, suites 303 and 309, provides a variety of unique services in allergy care, including oral food and graded drug challenges in which patients are given increasing amounts of a suspected allergen to confirm the presence or absence of allergy.

The allergy center also provides complete skin testing for penicillin allergy and is the only facility in Los Angeles that offers a desensitization program for patients allergic to aspirin.

“Most allergy centers focus either on food or drug allergies,†says Dr. Melinda Braskett, medical director of the allergy center. “We’re unique in that we have them together under one roof with a dedicated staff that can provide the best possible care to patients with these conditions.â€

Approximately 6 percent of children and 3 percent of adults suffer from high-risk food allergies, according to Dr. Braskett. These are specific immune responses to particular foods that cause a range of symptoms, from mild rashes and diarrhea to breathing difficulty and, in rare cases, even death. “Similarly, about 7 percent of the population reports an allergy to penicillin, while aspirin causes an acute respiratory reaction in about 10 percent of people with asthma,†she says.

The center, located across the street from Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, includes three allergy immunologists, a specialized procedure nurse and a dietitian and is fully integrated with a primary-care medical practice consisting of physicians who have advanced training in both adult internal medicine and pediatrics. The physicians share more than office space – they work as a team, consulting with one another to treat all family members, from infants to geriatric patients.

This special relationship between the allergy center and primary-care physicians is part of an initiative by the UCLA Department of Medicine to provide care in one setting to all family members, regardless of age. The model allows patients with food or drug allergies, regardless of age, to receive state-of-the-art care from allergy specialists who work collaboratively with the patients’ primary-care physicians to coordinate care.

“The idea was to take the Food and Drug Allergy Care Center and put it in a setting where we could take care of children and their parents because allergies are very often inherited,†says Dr. Alan Fogelman, executive chair of UCLA’s Medicine Department. “Our vision is this will become a model for how we treat diseases that are common in families.â€

For more information and appointments: (310) 315-8990 or www.FoodDrugAllergy.ucla.edu

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