More than 20% of children in Germany suffer from allergic symptoms. Headed by Prof. Dr. med. Marcus Mall, the Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergology Unit at the University Medical Center for Children and Adolescents is dedicated to giving these patients the optimum and age-appropriate medical care. The chief attending physician for allergology is PD Dr. med. Olaf Sommerburg, specialist in pediatrics and adolescent medicine, and a certified allergologist and pediatric pulmonologist. His team includes doctors for outpatient and day patient care, highly experienced technical assistants for allergy testing and a very dedicated dietician
In our field of work, we see children and adolescents with conditions from the entire spectrum of pediatric allergology. Patients may suffer from atopic dermatitis (neurodermatitis), allergic respiratory diseases, food allergies or insect venom hypersensitivity. Our pediatric allergology team also deals with special cases such as intolerances and allergies to medication. With the extensive diagnostic possibilities available at the University Medical Center for Children and Adolescents, we can offer modern and high-quality allergy diagnostics and therapies. Besides in-vitro analyses, we perform a series of skin tests (prick, intracutaneous and epicutaneous allergy tests). Food allergies are tested with open and blind, placebo-controlled provocation tests.
We offer specific immunotherapy for allergies to pollen, some indoor allergens (e.g. house dust mites) and insect venom. This type of therapy, also known as desensitization, has been used for many years at the Heidelberg University Medical Center for Children and Adolescents. Since a thorough and accurate diagnosis is the basis of every successful desensitization, we use conjunctival, nasal and bronchial provocation in addition to the methods described above to obtain a reliable diagnosis. Specific immunotherapy will continue to be one of the focal areas of our allergological outpatient department. We cooperate with medical practitioners in the region to offer patients with severe allergic symptoms the option of beginning a specific immunotherapy in our hospital and continuing treatment in the practice of their own doctor. Desensitization to insect venom is usually initiated during a 2-day stay in our hospital (ultra-rush procedure), so that in normal cases, children will miss 2 ½ days of school at most. Once the injections can be given at the usual intervals, the treatment is continued by the patient's own allergologist.
Rhine-Neckar Information Center for Asthma and Neurodermatitis
It is our belief that a therapy can only be effective if both children and parents take an active part in the treatment concept and are given specific information and instruction on how to manage allergies. That is why we have joined the Rhine-Neckar Information Center for Asthma and Neurodermatitis (Zentrum für Asthma- und Neurodermitisschulung Rhein-Neckar) and regularly offer instruction courses for asthma and neurodermatitis patients and their families according to the standards of AG Asthmaschulung im Kindes- und Jugendalter e.V. and Arbeitsgemeinschaft Neurodermitisschulung e.V.