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Allergy patients at risk: report


A new study claims that hospital patients are being put at risk because doctors are not always following guidance relating to known drug allergies.

Researchers from the University of Sunderland found that more than half of patients with a known drug allergy at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, were not issued with red wristbands which are used to warn staff of their condition.

The study looked at the standard of drug allergy recording and wristband usage among in-patient wards at the hospital, and the results were compared to the hospital’s Trust Drug Policy standards.

It also found that in 75% of cases, patients’ drug allergy status details were not recorded in their clinical notes or on their drug charts.

Pharmacist Andrew Husband, who led the research, said: “The solution is to increase awareness among hospital staff of the importance of this issue. Every member of a hospital multiprofessional team is responsible for ensuring that drug allergy status procedures are followed.

“Pharmacists are experts in medicines and they have a significant role to play in supporting other health professionals to achieve the best possible healthcare outcomes for all patients, and avoid adverse drug reactions.”

Copyright © PA Business 2007
University of Sunderland

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