FAQs About the Blood Test

<- back to main FAQ menu

  • How do I get a blood test?
    • Your GP should be able to organise a blood test through the NHS but be aware that you may need to schedule a separate appointment for this or work within the setup available at your local surgery. Most hospital laboratories now do this test. If this is not possible we can do a blood test for sensitivity to pigeons and send you the result. We will send you a pre-paid postal return safe-pack (with syringe etc) which you can take to your GP practice. To read more about the blood sample, click here
  • Can I have a sample done if I don't live in the UK?
    • We are happy to take blood samples from anyone but if you live outside of the UK you will need to cover the cost of the blood-sample kit and the postage to you. Normally this is the equivalent of 50 USD.
  • What do raised blood levels mean?
      • a) The normal body defence systems have responded to contact with pigeon protein.
      • b) Everyone will tend to make antibody reaction to pigeon protein, but some people make much more than others.
      • c) higher antibody levels are associated with an increased risk of lung disease.
  • If I have a high level in the blood test, have I been diagnosed?
    • If you receive your blood test result and you have a high level, this is not a diagnosis in itself. In this situation we would urge you to speak to your own doctor who will need to conduct a series of tests and you may need to see a specialist. The level you receive in your blood test is meant as a guide to help you, it is not a diagnosis.
  • How are the levels categorised?
    • The blood test results will be reported in categories below.

      The categories reflect sensitivity to pigeons. These indicate the potential for developing pigeon lung and a diagnosis is based only after an assessment by your doctor.

      • No Sensitivity

        Any chest symptoms are unlikely to be related to Pigeon Lung.

      • Mild Sensitivity

        Mild symptoms of Pigeon Lung can occur. It is important to use a mask if there are chest symptoms particularly when cleaning out the loft.

      • Moderate Sensitivity

        Symptoms of Pigeon Lung can occur. They may be mild or moderate and it is advisable to wear a mask at all times when with the pigeons and always when cleaning out.

      • High Sensitivity

        Symptoms of Pigeon Lung can occur and can be severe. A mask should always be worn. A cap and coat should be used routinely and the level of contact with the birds must be reduced. It is most important to take these precautions when with the pigeons.