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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144-148

An observational study to describe the clinical pattern of dermatological emergencies from emergency department and intensive care unit: Our experience from a tertiary care hospital in Northern India

1 Department of Dermatology, Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Dermatology, MLN Medical College, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Neerja Saraswat
Department of Dermatology, Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt, New Delhi - 110 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_318_18

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Background: A large number of skin diseases have the potential to culminate into potentially fatal “acute skin failure.” The concept of dermatological intensive care unit (ICU) has largely evolved as a result of increased number of emergencies encountered by dermatologists these days. Dermatological emergencies comprise 8–20% of cases presenting to the emergency department. A wide variety of these conditions require a collective effort by intensivists, surgeons, physicians, and nursing staff in association with the treating dermatologist to reduce the associated mortality and morbidity. Dermatology ICU along with state-of-the-art nursing care is required to manage these cases, which result in acute skin failure. Materials and Methods: A prospective study conducted in a tertiary care center with a round the clock emergency department and a state-of-the-art dermatology ICU over a period of 12 months. Patients requiring primary dermatological consultation in the emergency department and patients admitted in the dermatology intensive care unit were evaluated, and their clinical variables were statistically analyzed. Results: In total, 327 cases were seen in the emergency department, out of which 54 (16.5%) cases were admitted in dermatology ICU, 239 (73.1%) were treated as outpatient cases, and 34 (10.4%) were managed as inpatients in other wards of the hospital. The most common condition in out-patient cases was acute urticaria and angioedema in 71 (29.7%), while vesiculobullous disorders in 16 (29.6%) patients was the most common condition requiring admission in dermatology ICU. Conclusions: At present, only few studies are available in the literature on the spectrum of dermatological disorders reporting to emergency department, and further requiring intensive care under ICU setting. This prospective study highlights the varied patterns of dermatosis reporting to emergency outpatient department and those managed in the ICU.

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