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December 1, 1945

"EMERGENCIES IN THE ALLERGIST'S PRACTICE"

JAMA. 1945;129(14):979. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860480059019

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  Dr. Waldbott's article entitled "Emergencies in the Allergist's Practice" (The Journal, August 25) will impress practitioners with the value of a working knowledge of allergy. Many doctors perform skin tests without realizing the danger of serious and even fatal consequences of intracutaneous testing. Literal interpretations of skin test findings without clinical survey further deprive patients of foods or materials they should have. Much harm is done by prescribing diets based on allergy tests alone.On page 1206, paragraph 5, Dr. Waldbott states that "scratch testing material loses its potency relatively soon," which would indicate that intracutaneous extracts are more stable, yet actually the reverse holds true. Glycerinated extracts and powders remain stable for a much longer period than the intracutaneous allergens and furthermore are much safer to use. In addition, the intracutaneous method produces many more false positives, as a result of which persons are separated, as

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