In the Immunology Department we investigate and treat patients with disorders of the immune system. The clinical team see patients with a wide range of conditions including immunodeficiency, vasculitis, coeliac disease, complex autoimmune diseases and allergies, while the laboratory performs a wide range of tests that help in the diagnosis of a range of diseases.
The department with our academic partner, Trinity College Dublin, play an important role in the education of students of medicine and science at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The department is also very active in research and development and has achieved an international reputation as a leader in various areas of clinical immunology. It also acts as a reference centre for the investigation and management of patients with a variety of immunological disorders especially in the areas of immunodeficiency, vasculitis, coeliac disease and other autoimmune disorders such as connective tissue disease.
The department operates an inpatient service, two weekly outpatient clinics, day ward and a consultancy service.
Appointments for the Immunology Outpatient Clinic are made by the Immunology Department after receipt of a referral letter from a GP or consultant. Referral letters are evaluated by the consultant and appointments are scheduled for patients, where appropriate.
This section should answer any practical questions you may have about the Immunology Department as a visitor, patient or outpatient.
Additional Test Requests
Please contact the Immunology Department if additional testing is required. Samples are stored for different lengths of time, so direct communication with Immunology is required
Information for General Practitioners
The medical and scientific members of the Immunology Department are very happy to discuss any issues regarding the appropriate tests to perform, how to interpret test results or possible patient management strategies with GPs or other doctors.
Please note that samples are retained in the laboratory for three days post-reporting. Extra tests may be requested during this time.
All turnaround times quoted for immunology tests are based on a seven day week and are established on the interval between the date the sample is logged into the laboratory and the date the test result is authorised for release. Results to GPs via Healthlink are normally posted five hours after authorisation. Further testing (follow-on tests) will delay the printed report, which is normally available for dispatch the day after the result is authorised.
If referring patients that may have had a peri-operative anaphylactic reaction, please fill out a Peri-Operative Drug Reaction Referral Form.
The waiting times for immunology clinics are long and we continually work to improve this.
All referral letters should be sent to:
Immunology Clinical Secretary
St James's Hospital
Phone: (01) 416 2928
Critical Results Policy
The Immunology Department provides an urgent out of hours service for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) and glomerular basement membrane (GBM) antibody testing.
Physicians who require an urgent ANCA and GBM test must contact the laboratory directly (or the hospital switchboard) to organise this service. The turnaround time will be approximately three hours from receipt of the sample into the laboratory. A policy document outlining the procedure for ordering urgent ANCA and/or GBM antibody testing can be found here Urgent ANCA GBM Request Procedure.
Results that are abnormal and may require immediate clinical management are communicated by the Immunology Department to the appropriate healthcare professionals. A policy document outlining the list of tests and their respective critical phone limits is available here Critical Phone Limits in Immunology 2022.
Our goals are to promote excellence in the assessment, diagnosis and management of allergic and related conditions. This will focus on ensuring appropriate and cost-effective investigations with the institution of timely community-based management strategies. The Irish Food Allergy Network website provides comprehensive guidelines on allergy testing.
Please note that waiting times for Immunology Allergy Clinics are long and that we continually work to improve this.
Allergy Advice: For allergy advice please email: email@example.com.
This email service is for GPs and other Health Professionals only. For legal reasons, direct advice cannot be given to patients. Referrals cannot be accepted via this email address.
Referrals for drug allergy must be in line with the NICE guidelines. Referrals that do not meet these criteria or that lack sufficient information will be returned. Accepted referrals are offered a day ward appointment in terms of priority. The following is a local adaption of NICE guidance: Drug Allergy NICE Statement
Staff in the Department of Immunology regularly participate in continuous professional development (CPD) by attending and participating in weekly seminars. These seminars deal with clinical case studies, translational research and laboratory techniques.