[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
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.
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).
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.
The western journal of emergency medicine 11/2011; 12(4):551-5. DOI:10.5811/westjem.2010.4.1653