Allergy alerts - The incidence of parentally reported allergies in children presenting for general anesthesia.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim: Pediatric patients increasingly report allergies, including allergies to food and medications. We sought to determine the incidence and, nature of parent-reported allergies in children presenting for surgery and its significance for anesthetists. Methods: We prospectively collected data on admissions through our surgical admission unit over a 2-month period at a pediatric tertiary care teaching hospital. Data collected included patient demographics, history of atopy, with more comprehensive information collected if an allergy was reported. A clinical immunologist and an anesthetist reviewed the documentation of all patients reporting an allergy. Results: We reviewed 1001 pediatric patients, 158 (15.8%) patients with parent-reported allergies; to medications/drugs (n = 73), food (n = 66), environmental allergens (dust/grasses, n = 35), tapes/dressings (n = 27), latex (n = 4), and venom (eg, bee, wasp, n = 9). Forty-one patients reported antibiotic allergies, with Beta-lactam antibiotics being the most common, with the majority presenting with rash alone (57%). Ten patients reported allergies to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and eight to opioids. Twenty-four patients reported egg and/or peanut allergy. Only 3/1001 (0.3%) patients were deemed to have evidence of likely IgE-mediated drug allergy. Of the reported allergies, only 60 (38.2%) had been investigated prior, most likely to be followed up were food (53%) and environmental allergies (44.4%). Only 4/73 (5.5%) reported medication allergies had further follow-up. Just four patients (0.4% of the entire cohort) had drug sensitivities/allergies that were likely to majorly alter anesthesia practice. Conclusion: Only the minority of parent-reported allergies in pediatric surgical patients were specialist confirmed and likely to be clinically relevant. Self-reported food allergy is commonly specialist verified whereas reactions to medications were generally not. Over-reporting of allergies is increasingly common and limits clinician choice of medications. Better education of patients and their families and more timely verification or dismissal of parent-reported reactions is urgently needed. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Anesthesia
Issue number2
Early online date19 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Allergy alerts - The incidence of parentally reported allergies in children presenting for general anesthesia.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this