Emergency Consultations in Dermatology in a Secondary Referral Hospital in Southern Switzerland: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Analysis.

Pelloni, Lorenzo Stefano; Cazzaniga, Simone; Naldi, Luigi; Borradori, Luca; Mainetti, Carlo (2019). Emergency Consultations in Dermatology in a Secondary Referral Hospital in Southern Switzerland: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Analysis. Dermatology, 235(3), pp. 243-249. Karger 10.1159/000498850

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BACKGROUND/AIMS The spectrum of dermatological emergencies is broad. Only a few studies have assessed the profile of dermatological conditions resulting in an emergency visit in a referral hospital. We sought to assess the conditions prompting an urgent dermatological visit and to compare the diagnoses with those made during the regular scheduled encounters. METHODS We performed a cross-sectional study of all patients with a cutaneous problem attending our emergency consultation during a 7-month period. The study variables were gender, age, duration of symptoms, diagnosis, need for hospitalization and/or follow-up. We further evaluated patients attending scheduled visits to compare the demographic characteristics and diagnoses between the two groups. RESULTS Six hundred fifty-two consecutive patients with an urgent dermatological consultation were included. Three hundred sixty (55.2%) were women and 292 (44.8%) were men. Infectious diseases (32.8%) as well as various forms of eczema (24.8%) constituted the most frequent causes for an emergency visit. Approximately 40% of emergency visits took place more than 1 week after the development of the cutaneous manifestations. The most frequent disorders seen in the 1,738 control patients included benign melanocytic and nonmelanocytic tumors (27.2%) and malignant skin lesions (11.5%). CONCLUSIONS Our study indicates that the dermatological diagnoses in the emergency visits significantly differ from those of the routinely scheduled appointments. In a significant portion of patients, the use of an emergency consultation was not justified. This study provides support to the idea that a specific training is required to manage dermatological emergencies and that efforts should be made to reduce unjustified emergency visit use.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology

UniBE Contributor:

Pelloni, Lorenzo Stefano; Cazzaniga, Simone and Borradori, Luca


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Sandra Nyffenegger

Date Deposited:

12 Sep 2019 11:35

Last Modified:

17 Dec 2019 09:41

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Dermatology Emergency Epidemiology Skin diseases





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