4: Is it safe to administer cefazolin in penicillin-allergic patients?


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By David Hao, MD, David Hao, and MD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We investigate the claim that an alternative antibiotic to cephalosporins (e.g., cefazolin) should be selected for penicillin-allergic patients in the perioperative setting.

Claim 1. Alternative antibiotics may be as efficacious in preventing surgical site infections

Claim 2. Cephalosporins (e.g., cefazolin) may be unsafe due to cross-reactivity.

Claim 3. Administering cephalosporins (e.g., cefazolin) may be against the standard of care.

My guest this week is Dr. Matthew Vanneman, an attending cardiothoracic anesthesiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Full show notes available at depthofanesthesia.com.

Connect with us @DepthAnesthesia on Twitter or depthofanesthesia@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening! Please rate us on iTunes and share with your colleagues.

Music by Stephen Campbell, MD.



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Blumenthal KG, Ryan EE, Li Y, Lee H, Kuhlen JL, Shenoy ES. The impact of a reported penicillin allergy on surgical site infec- tion risk. Clin Infect Dis. 2018;66:329–336.

Blumenthal KG et al. Risk of meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile in patients with a documented penicillin allergy: Population based matched cohort study. BMJ 2018 Jun 27; 361:k2400.

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Macy E, Contreras R. Adverse reactions associated with oral and parenteral use of cephalosporins: a retrospective population-based analysis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2015;135:745-752.e745.

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Pichichero ME. A review of evidence supporting the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for prescribing cepha- losporin antibiotics for penicillin-allergic patients. Pediatrics. 2005;115:1048–1057.

Zagursky RJ, Pichichero ME. Cross-reactivity in β-lactam allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018;6:72–81.e1.


By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use information as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others, including but not limited to patients that you are treating. Opinions expressed are solely those of the host and guests and do not express the views or opinions of Massachusetts General Hospital.

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