Pindara Private Hospital has launched a new study, hoping to make the future easier for thousands of Australian children incorrectly labelled with a medical condition that could impact the rest of their lives.
The Penicillin Allergy De-Labelling in Paediatric Outpatients study (PADLPOP study) is underway at Pindara Private Hospital in an attempt to have the “penicillin allergy” label removed from those who don’t actually need it.
Chief Investigator of the PADLPOP study, Dr Amy Whittaker, said: “More than 10 per cent of the population report being allergic to penicillin, however, around 90 per cent of people labelled as “allergic” do not have a true allergy.
“This creates significant issues for their future health care. Often a penicillin is the safest and most effective treatment for them, but doctors are pushed to use other drugs that may be less effective, promote antibiotic resistance or have a side effect profile that is less desirable than trusty old penicillin.”
The study, funded by the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation, comes after a parliamentary enquiry into allergy and anaphylaxis described an “urgent need to ‘de-label’ patients from their unproven drug allergies”.
“Paediatricians from Leading Steps along with the Pindara Private Hospital Clinical Trial Unit, Pindara Private Emergency Department team and Pindara Private Hospital Pharmacists have developed the PADLPOP study to help patients find out if they are truly allergic to Penicillin,” Dr Whittaker said.
“Whilst it has been shown to be safe to undertake allergy testing on patients who are at ‘low risk’ of having a true allergy, we understand it can be daunting for families. By conducting the testing in our friendly Emergency Department, families have the reassurance that their child’s safety is ensured.”
The team will be recruiting participants over the next twelve months and will be following them up for a further twelve months. The results of this study will support the development of penicillin allergy assessment services with the aim of providing the best clinical care to children both during their childhood and into their future.
If you have a child who has been labelled as allergic to penicillin, you can contact the Pindara Private Hospital Clinical Trials Unit (phone 07 5588 9093) to register your interest in being part of this study.