MERCAT played a major part in undertaking this nationally run study across the East Midlands.

Well done to everyone involved! We look forward to seeing the results.

The Study
DALES was designed to evaluate the prevalence of patient-reported and documented allergy to drugs relevant to anaesthesia and to learn more about anaesthetists’ knowledge and attitudes to allergy. It did not cover the same ground as NAP6.

The study took the form of questionnaires / interviews for quantitative analysis. It was a cross sectional, observational and descriptive study design:

Patient Questionnaire

  • This occurred across the country in multiple sites over 3 days within a 6-week study window
  • When patients attended hospital for planned surgery they were consented for a questionnaire about their allergies
  • Baseline data was collected from all patients attending for elective surgery, regardless of allergy status
  • Data was collected electronically at the bedside using the REDCap system and securely stored

Targeted Patient Follow-Up

  • Patients who report allergy to B-lactams or opioids were followed up post-op if they were due to receive these drugs
  • An investigator reviewed the anaesthetic and drug charts and noted how the drug allergy was documented and what was given
  • Any changes to the documentation of allergy was recorded
  • It was recorded whether any episode of unexpected patient instability took place in the peri-operative period

Anaesthetist Survey

  • All anaesthetists and prescribing anaesthetic practitioners working during the study period were invited to take part in a survey about attitudes to drug allergy labels in the elective perioperative setting