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Appropriate action on allergies

15 July 2014
Medical history isn’t the definitive article of a patient’s situation – sometimes you must dig a little deeper to ensure you do no harm...

A patient completed a medical history form for treatment under sedation. Under the allergies section was the entry: 'Allergic to aspirin – facial swelling.'
The practitioner, on his own admission, stated that the patient was seen for two consultations with regard to removal of carious wisdom teeth. At both these consultations the patient confirmed his allergic reaction to aspirin and even noted the severity of the reaction by indicating he had a facial swelling from a previous reaction.

 All four wisdom teeth were removed and the patient was prescribed metronidazole with hydrocodeine and ibuprofen. He was not aware of the crossover of the allergic nature of aspirin and ibuprofen even though he knew they were both NSAIDs.

Learning point:
It is important that appropriate action is taken on the information in a medical history and if there is any concern about interactions and side-effects, every opportunity should be taken to explore such issues further.

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These case studies are based on real events and provided here as guidance. They do not constitute legal advice but are published to help members better understand how they might deal with certain situations. This is just one of the many benefits Dental Protection members enjoy as part of their subscription. 
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