Unsubstantiated penicillin-allergy labels are common in surgical patients, and can lead to significant harm through avoidance of best first-line prophylaxis of surgical site infections and increased infection with resistant bacterial strains. Up to 98% of penicillin-allergy labels are incorrect when tested. Because of the scarcity of trained allergists in all healthcare systems, only a minority of surgical patients have the opportunity to undergo testing and de-labelling before surgery. Testing pathways can be modified and shortened in selected patients. A variety of healthcare professionals can, with appropriate training and in collaboration with allergists, provide testing for selected patients. We review how patients might be assessed, the appropriate testing strategies that can be used, and the minimum standards of safe testing.
- drug provocation testing
- surgical site infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine