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Allergy and Clinical Immunology Center, Hospital Dona Estefânia (Lisbon, Portugal)

Allergy and Clinical Immunology Center, Hospital de Dona Estefânia, Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central, EPE

Description of the Center

The Allergy and Clinical Immunology Center, Hospital Dona Estefânia is integrated in Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central (CHULC), which aggregates 6 public hospitals in the city of Lisboa, providing integrated care to patients of all age groups and working in close relationship with the university, Nova Medical School - Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (NMS/FCM).

In the field of allergy care, it covers a larger area than that of its direct influence (357361 inhabitants), given that it is a top-level (level 3) center of allergy, highly differentiated.

Its integration in CHULC allows multidisciplinary collaboration in adult and children medicine, helping to provide the highest quality standards of care along with the best and safest treatments toward patients with allergies.

Allergy and Clinical Immunology is a full specialty in Portugal since 1985 and our Center has been training specialists since then. It is presently coordinated by Paula Leiria Pinto and has a team with 12 specialists, 7 residents, 3 lung function technicians, and 2 dedicated nurses.

Our Center provides outpatient and inpatient care to pediatric and adult patients with respiratory allergy (asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis), skin allergy (atopic dermatitis, urticaria, and contact dermatitis), food allergy, drug hypersensitivity, hymenoptera venom allergy, primary immunodeficiency, and acquired / hereditary angioedema.

We are experienced in performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as lung function tests (from pre-school age children to extremely old people), food and drug diagnostic challenges and desensitisation protocols, specific allergen immunotherapy, monoclonal antibody treatments for asthma, urticaria, and atopic dermatitis, subcutaneous or endovenous gammaglobulin, among others.

We are committed to a multidisciplinary approach in our clinical and research activities through cross-disciplinary networking, to develop innovation and improve our health outcomes.

The collaboration in national registries of patients is in progress (i.e. anaphylaxis and severe asthma).

Moreover, through the participation of Nova Medical School in the “Comprehensive Health Research Centre” (CHRC), our Center is be able to strengthen research research and produce robust scientific evidence that could contribute to health promotion strategies.

We are one of the national post-graduate training centers in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, having permanently an average of 6 full-time specialty residents. Additionally, we offer training periods to Allergy and Clinical Immunology residents from other centers or residents from other specialties.

We are also collaborating with NMS/FCM in pre-graduate teaching and clinical investigation projects, and some of the members of the team develop regular lecturing and research activities at the University.

Our clinical research areas of interest are Asthma and Respiratory Allergies; Severe Asthma; Food Allergy; Drug Allergy; Cutaneous Allergy; Venom allergy; Specific Immunotherapy; Hereditary angioedema; both in children and in adults.

We participated in several phase III and IV clinical trials, and actually, we have several observational studies in progress.  

In the last three years, we have been involved in the publication of several papers in international and national peer-reviewed journals and over 60 presentations of our research information as a poster and oral communications in national and international scientific meetings. Several members of our team commonly participate as reviewers of national and international periodicals dedicated to Allergy.

We regularly promote educational activities with patients, through our daily clinical practice. The staff members also commonly take part in public awareness-raising campaigns about allergic diseases, promoted by the Portuguese Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (SPAIC).

In the last years, we organized annual multidisciplinary meetings focused on sharing knowledge and practices regarding allergic patient care, intending to improve the health and the well-being of allergic patients.

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