Cutaneous Conditions Leading to Dermatology Consultations in the Emergency Department
- Author(s): Jack, Alexander R;
- Spence, Allyson A;
- Nichols, Benjamin J;
- Chong, Summer;
- Williams, David T;
- Swadron, Stuart P;
- Peng, David H
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2010.4.1653
Introduction: We established the most common cutaneous diseases that received dermatology consultation in the adult emergency department (ED) and identified differentiating clinical characteristics of dermatoses that required hospital admission.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of 204 patients presenting to the ED who received dermatology consultations at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center, an urban tertiary care teaching hospital.
Results: Of all patients, 18% were admitted to an inpatient unit primarily for their cutaneous disease, whereas 82% were not. Of nonadmitted patients, the most commonly diagnosed conditions were eczematous dermatitis not otherwise specified (8.9%), scabies (7.2%), contact dermatitis (6.6%), cutaneous drug eruption (6.0%), psoriasis vulgaris (4.2%), and basal cell carcinoma (3.6%). Of patients admitted for their dermatoses, the most highly prevalent conditions were erythema multiforme major/Stevens-Johnson syndrome (22%), pemphigus vulgaris (14%), and severe cutaneous drug eruption (11%). When compared with those of nonadmitted patients, admitted skin conditions were more likely to be generalized (92% vs 72%; P = 0.0104), acute in onset (< 1 month duration) (81% vs 51%; P = 0.0005), painful (41% vs 15%; P = 0.0009), blistering (41% vs 7.8%; P < 0.0001), and ulcerated or eroded (46% vs 7.8%; P < 0.0001). They were more likely to involve the mucosa (54% vs 7.2%; P < 0.0001) and less likely to be pruritic (35% vs 58%; P = 0.0169).
Conclusion: We have described a cohort of patients receiving dermatologic consultation in the ED of a large urban teaching hospital. These data identify high-risk features of more severe skin disease and may be used to refine curricula in both emergency and nonemergency cutaneous disorders for emergency physicians. [West J Emerg Med. 2011;12(4):551–555.]