Evaluation of Patients Visiting the Dermatology Emergency Unit of a University Dermatology Hospital in Tehran, Iran
Published studies on dermatological emergencies are limited in the literature. To our knowledge, no study has previously explored this subject in Iran. Our aim was to ascertain the characteristics of patients visiting the dermatologic emergency (DE) unit of a university skin hospital in Tehran, Iran. We studied the files of all the patients seen in the DE unit over a 3-month period, collecting data on age, sex, referral mode, duration of consultation, status (true emergency or non-emergency), and diagnosis. A total of 2539 patients were evaluated; 53% of them were female. Infection and infestation (41.9%), urticaria (16.7%), and dermatitis (13.2%) were the most prevalent entities. Almost 1% of the patients were referred by another physician and psoriasis was their most frequent diagnosis. Almost 2.6% of the patients were hospitalized; psoriasis was once again the most frequent cause. The hospitalization rate was significantly higher in referred patients (P<0.001). A sampling bias may have occurred due to the time interval (three summer months) of the study. The majority of the patients did not require emergency consultation. Even the most prevalent acute conditions such as bite, urticaria, infections, and infestations could be diagnosed and easily managed by general practitioners. The presented data showed a need for improvement in the non-dermatologist physicians' knowledge of emergency dermatologic disorders. This data could also help in tailoring the educational curriculum for medical students more appropriately in order to increase their knowledge of the most prevalent skin disorders.
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