Antibiotic Allergy Labelling- may it cause Unnecessary Altered Antibiotic Treatment

University essay from Örebro universitet/Institutionen för medicinska vetenskaper

Abstract: IntroductionApproximately 5-10% of the general population report an antibiotic allergy. It has been reported that labeling of medical records with antibiotic hypersensitivity are often incorrect. As a result, antibiotic treatment choice will be increasingly difficult resulting in prolonged hospital visit, increased use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, increased frequency of side effects and the development of antibiotic resistance.AimThe primary aim was to investigate to what extent medical records were labelled with antibiotic allergy and whether these labels were adequately documented. The secondary aim was to investigate the difference in the impact of the label on the doctors’ choice of antibiotics depending on whether the doctor worked at a clinic of infectious diseases or not.MethodsA retrospective cohort study based on medical records labeled with antibiotic allergy in patients admitted to the Clinic of Infectious Diseases and the Emergency Ward at the Clinic of Medicine between 1st of January to 30th of June 2018.ResultsOf the total 1720 patients there were 132 (7,7%) patients marked with antibiotic allergy. Of these, only 21 patients (15.8%) were correctly labelled. There was no significant difference in the impact of the label on the choice of prescription between the two wards.ConclusionA substantial number of medical journals have a label for antibiotic allergy and the quality of the label is often poor with only 21 (15.8%) correct documented labels. We argue the need of education on antibiotic allergy and how to label and medical records.

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