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Are you allergic to penicillin? You’re not alone – 30 million Americans report this allergy. However, about 28.5 million aren’t actually allergic, according to a recent study. This means that of every 20 patients who think they’re allergic, 19 really aren’t.
This misdiagnosis can lead to increased medical costs for patients and healthcare systems. Antibiotics for patients who think they’re allergic to penicillin can be up to 63% more expensive than those for other patients.
In a hospital setting, the study found that a history of a penicillin allergy led to hospital stays that were 10% longer. It also led to significantly more antibiotic-resistant infections, like C difficile, MRSA, and VRE. This caused patients to receive much stronger, broad-spectrum antibiotics than necessary due to the listed penicillin allergy.
According to an editorial that accompanied the study, the estimated cost of performing penicillin skin testing on the 51,582 study participants who reported an allergy would be $6.8 million. However, reducing a hospital stay by 0.59 days would save $64.6 million.
Figuring out if you’re truly allergic to penicillin is good for your health and your wallet. An allergist can perform testing to decipher your penicillin allergy. The blood tests currently on the market for this testing aren’t as accurate.
KCAA can help you get the truth about your penicillin allergy. Call us at 913-491-5501 to schedule an appointment.
The Walk-In Clinic is open to all established KCAA patients, check our hours and locations.
MON - THURS.
8:00 am - 11:00 am & 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
8:00 am - 11:00 am & 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
TUE & THURS
8:00 am - 11:00 am