December 10, 2023

The absence of allergy specialists in northern and southern Israel puts individuals at risk during times of war and population evacuations due to confusion about allergies to iodine and penicillin. The Israel Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has warned about this issue and has provided remote telephone consultations to hospitals in the periphery 24/7.

Medical files often contain erroneous information about penicillin allergies, leading to compromised medical treatment for those who are mistakenly labeled as allergic. The association emphasizes the importance of consulting allergy specialists when there is uncertainty about administering penicillin.

Furthermore, delays in vital imaging tests due to potential allergies to iodine contrast material are a concern. The association’s chairman, Prof. Arnon Elitzur of Shamir Medical Center, highlighted the need to address this issue to save lives, especially during times of war.

Allergologist Prof. Alon Hershko mentioned that many people in Israel are mistakenly believed to be allergic to iodine, which can lead to unnecessary complications in medical treatment. He emphasized the importance of accurate information and protocols for administering contrast material containing iodine ions.

Overall, the lack of allergy specialists in certain regions of Israel poses significant challenges during times of war and medical emergencies, and there is a need for improved access to allergy services to ensure proper and timely medical care.