National
Penicillin
Allergy
Day

An unverified penicillin allergy is currently recognized as a significant public health risk.

Studies have found that an estimated 10% of patients self-report as being penicillin allergic; and that 9 out of 10 of those patients reporting a penicillin allergy are not truly allergic.1

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Why is correctly identifying those who are not actually allergic to penicillin so important?

  • Inaccurate diagnosis of penicillin allergy can adversely impact medical costs for both patients and healthcare systems: research shows that antibiotic costs for patients reporting penicillin allergies are up to 63% higher than for those who do not report being penicillin-allergic.3
  • Patients labeled penicillin-allergic have a threefold increased risk of adverse events (ADE).4 In the hospital setting, history of penicillin allergy translates to about 10% more hospital days, 30% higher incidence of VRE infections, 23% higher incidence of C difficile infections, and 14% higher incidence of MRSA infections3.
  • Correctly identifying those who are not actually allergic can improve antibiotic prescribing and combat the risk of super-bugs by allowing patients access to safer, less toxic antibiotics.3 By some estimates, up to half of all hospitalized patients in the US receive antibiotics and up to half of antimicrobial use may be inappropriate.5 There is a causal relationship between inappropriate antimicrobial use and resistance; changes in antimicrobial use lead to parallel changes in the prevalence of resistance.6

With statistics this compelling, it's important for patients and providers to know the facts about penicillin allergies.
For these reasons, Sept. 28—the date Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928—has been designated National Penicillin Allergy Day.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

There are several ways to get involved and help spread the word about National Penicillin Allergy Day!

Thunderclap

Thunderclap is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks.

Join our Thunderclap to use our pre-crafted National Penicillin Allergy Day message to share with your network on September 28th.

Tool Kit

The NPAD Tool Kit includes great and easy-to-digest resources such as a patient brochure, a poster, and customizable internal communications template that can be used to share within your health system, private practice, and community.

You can download and view the items in the Tool Kit, print them yourself, or even order prints to be shipped directly to you.

Proclamations

A proclamation is an official designation of a day or event that can be used as a tool for gaining public recognition. Proclamations can come from any level of government, including governors and mayors, and carry the full endorsement and support of the government entity that issues the proclamation.

You can request a National Penicillin Allergy Day (September 28) proclamation to be issued in your community.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter can be excellent platforms to provide awareness to your community on the value and availability of penicillin allergy testing.

We've provided a brief overview of guidelines for posting on social media for national Penicillin Allergy Day that includes tips and some pre-written posts that you can use to tailor your social media efforts.

Web Buttons

Websites can be excellent platforms to provide awareness to your community on the value and availability of penicillin allergy testing. Web buttons provide visitors to your page an easy way to access educational materials and learn more about false penicillin allergies and National Penicillin Allergy Day by hyperlinking directly to nationalpenicillinallergyday.com.

We've provided several button designs to choose from and html code for each that you can easily copy and paste into your webpage.

References

  • 1. Salkind, Alan R., Paul G. Cuddy, and John W. Foxworth. "Is this patient allergic to penicillin?: an evidence-based analysis of the likelihood of penicillin allergy." Jama 285.19 (2001): 2498-2505.
  • 2. Macy, E., & Contreras, R. (2014). Health care use and serious infection prevalence associated with penicillin “allergy” in hospitalized patients: a cohort study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 133(3), 790-796.
  • 3. Blumenthal, Kimberly G., et al. "Addressing Inpatient Beta-Lactam Allergies: A Multihospital Implementation." The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice 5.3 (2017): 616-625.
  • 4. Owens, R. C., Fraser, G. L., & Stogsdill, P. (2004). Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs as a Means to Optimize Antimicrobial Use. Pharmacotherapy, 24(7), 896-908.
  • 5. Dellit, T. H. (2007). Summary of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Guidelines for Developing an Institutional Program to Enhance Antimicrobial Stewardship. Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice, 15(4), 263-264.