Characteristics of Inpatients with Reported Beta-Lactam Allergy at a Pediatric Academic Hospital
Sunday, March 5, 2017: 2:45 PM
Thomas B. Murphy Ballroom 1 (Georgia World Congress Center, Building B)
Megan E Goebel, MD, ,

Characteristics of adult inpatients with reported beta-lactam allergy have been reported, but similar pediatric data are lacking. We identified the prevalence and characteristics of pediatric inpatients with reported beta-lactam allergy. 


We performed a retrospective electronic medical record (EMR) chart review for all inpatients (6 months -18 years) at a pediatric academic medical center that received at least one dose of antibiotic between January 1 and December 31, 2015. Records were reviewed for demographic features, insurance provider, reported reaction, and length of stay (LOS). 


9,691 total inpatient admissions were noted, with 925 (9.5%) reporting a beta-lactam allergy. Patients with a reported allergy were more likely to be Caucasian (79% vs. 68%; p<0.0001), older (8.24 vs. 7.21 years; p<0.0001), less likely to be African-American (11% vs. 17%; p<0.0001), and had shorter LOS (4.08 vs. 4.82 days; p=0.02) than those without a reported beta-lactam allergy. In both groups, patients were more likely to be male (55% allergic vs. 53% non-allergic). The major reported reactions to beta-lactams were rash (43%), and hives (24%), with other reactions including anaphylaxis (5%), angioedema (1%), and gastrointestinal (4%) and/or respiratory symptoms (1%). Despite availability of preselected options within the EMR to identify type of reaction, 14% had no listed reaction.


Our study identified many differences among pediatric patients based on beta-lactam allergy report. Prevalence was similar to adult data, and like adults, pediatric inpatients with reported beta-lactam allergy may benefit from allergy evaluation and/or antibiotic stewardship programs.