Penicillin allergy is much less common than most people think. Many studies show that 80-90% of people with a penicillin allergy on their chart test negative for penicillin allergy. This is either because they lost their sensitivity or because they never were truly allergic.
Patients with a label of penicillin allergy on their chart have been shown to require longer, more complicated hospitalizations for common infections. Without the ability to use the common penicillin family of antibiotics, broad spectrum antibiotics are used instead. These medications are much more expensive and can lead to developing a drug-resistant infection.
Unfortunately, due to the precautions we must take during the pandemic to prevent virus transmission, we are limited to very few penicillin testing appointments in our modified schedule. However, concern for virus transmission is much lower outdoors due to constantly moving air and more space to adhere to social distancing. We have a large shaded area near our building where several patients can bring lawn chairs to relax outdoors during the waiting periods during the skin testing and oral challenge required for the test. Nurses will be stationed at a table outdoors near patients to administer the tests and observe results.
Clearing your chart of a penicillin allergy diagnosis can save you money and keep you healthier. However, outdoor testing during the pandemic poses some challenges, so we would like to gather some information from patients about their interest in this program. If you think outdoor testing would work well for you, please fill out the no-commitment form below, and we will contact you with additional information.