September 28, 2018 Milwaukee, WI - Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center (AASC) announced today its participation in the second annual National Penicillin Allergy Day, a national awareness day to help spread the word and educate the healthcare community and the broader U.S. public on penicillin allergy and the critical importance of testing for this allergy. This date has maintained its significance as the day Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic, 90 years ago.
By observing National Penicillin Allergy Day, AASC is shining a light onto the importance of assessing penicillin allergy and the potential impact it can have on a patient’s longer health care. Studies have shown nine out of 10 patients reporting a penicillin allergy are not truly allergic. Those who are falsely labeled with the allergy could be affected by higher medical costs, increased risk of antibiotic resistance and longer lengths of hospital stays. A healthcare provider trained in penicillin allergy assessment can discuss the risks and benefits of testing.
"A misdiagnosis of penicillin allergy can affect a patient’s healthcare significantly. It is our responsibility as healthcare professionals to make sure our staff and patients are educated on penicillin allergy statistics and available allergy assessment."
- Dr. Gary Steven
Over the past few years, health organizations such as the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology have increased their support for more widespread and routine performance of penicillin skin testing for patients with a history of allergy to penicillin or other beta lactams (e.g., ampicillin or amoxicillin).
Since implementing penicillin allergy testing, the Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center has de-labeled 84% of the total patients tested. A negative result is often surprising to patients because many have been told their entire lives by parents and medical professionals that they're allergic. Penicillin has the potential of being 'out grown' when diagnosed as a child, which makes penicillin allergy testing as an adult very important. Once a patient is de-labeled from their penicillin allergy, their provider is able to potentially prescribe more effective and cost-efficient antibiotics.
Learn more about penicillin allergy and penicillin allergy testing at myaasc.com/penicillin.