I See I Had ... Allergies


Study Notes:

  1. 1.Be sure to ask the patient if they have any allergies.

  2. 2.Prompt them specifically about food allergies, drug allergies and environmental allergies.

  3. 3.Make sure that what they are reporting actually is an allergy, and not just a common reaction to the food, drug or environment.

  4. 4.Be sure to ask ‘anything else’.

“I see I had vital signs assessed and treated”


In general, people are allergic to foods, drugs or environmental triggers.  Be sure to ask about all three.

As with the PMHx, make sure that if they tell you about any allergies that you ask ‘anything else’?  Don’t assume that the first allergy they ask you about is the only allergy they have.

Also, make sure an ‘allergy’ actually is an allergy.  Sometimes people will report common side effects of drugs as allergies.  For example, a patient may tell you that they are allergic to aspirin because it makes their stomach bleed (which is common for people taking aspirin), or they may tell you that they are allergic to nitroglycerin because it makes them dizzy (again, this is very common). 

If a patient says they are allergic to something, make sure that they describe an allergic reaction.  For example, if a patient says they are allergic to ‘sulfa drugs’, ask them what happens when they take sulfa drugs.  If they say ‘Well, my face puffs up and my throat tightens up and I get all itchy and anxious and I break out in hives’ ... well, OK, that counts.  That’s an actual allergic reaction!

Finally, just like with the CC and the PMHx, don’t assume that the first allergy they tell you about is their only allergy.  If they tell you about one or several allergies, keep asking ‘anything else’ until they tell you that that’s all there is.

Ah, Ahh, Ahhhh ... CHOOO!