Quality of penicillin allergy management in the intensive care unit and internal medicine ward
© Bégin and Picard; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 4 November 2010
Penicillin allergy is reported by 10% of the population . The associated morbidity is substantial given its medical and economic implications [2–4]. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of care with regards to the management of penicillin allergy in a university affiliated general hospital with no allergy service.
Material and methods
All admissions from December 1st 2008 to December 1st 2009 were hand reviewed for a notion of penicillin allergy. Files were then assessed for (1) quality of allergic history to penicillin, (2) referral to an allergy clinic upon discharge, (3) indications for such a referral, (4) indication for a beta-lactam, and in the latter case, (5) management of antibiotic therapy.
Details included in allergy history
All patients (n=172)
Patients with indication for beta-lactam (n=87)
Allergy to penicillin noted in admission note
Allergy tag on file
Allergic reaction described
Delay since reaction noted
Treatment of allergic reaction noted
Strong arguments for allergy referral.
Number of patient (n=172)
Allergy to a non beta-lactam antibiotic
Chronic disease (COPD, CKD on dialysis, complicated diabetes)
Admitted for acute infection
Any and survived hospitalisation
Penicillin allergy is a frequent problem in hospital practice. Its management is not optimal in most cases. This study stresses the importance of continuous medical education on this subject and the importance of a readily available inpatient allergy service to support hospital practitioners.
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