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Immunology laboratory facilitates testing for chlorhexidine allergy following MHRA alert

Following reported cases of chlorhexidine anaphylaxis in the medical press and to the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), an alert was issued advising increased awareness of chlorhexidine allergy including the development of local procedures.

The immunology department is leading on the development of a local policy for CMFT and will include educational sessions for clinical staff, to be offered through the heads of divisions.

Part of the policy includes a screening questionnaire for possible chlorhexidine allergy and advice on investigation and referral.

All patients with suspected chlorhexidine allergy should be offered referral to the allergy clinic and a blood test looking for chlorhexidine allergy (allergen specific IgE against chlorhexidine), which can be requested via the Trust's CWS.

Results for the blood test should be available within one working day, but the patient should still avoid chlorhexidine until they are seen in the allergy clinic, even if the blood test is negative.