Abstract Number: 86

Skin conditions presenting to Australian emergency departments

C.Y. Chew1, M. Van Ammers2, A. Mar1

Meeting: 2021 Dermcoll

Session Information

Date: -

Session Title: Poster Presentations

Session Time: -

Dermatological conditions make up a small component of the patients who present to the emergency department (ED). Although skin conditions may cause physical and psychological distress to the patient, most are not emer- gencies and are routinely managed in the general practice or outpatient setting. We present a retrospective case-note review of the dermatological presentations to the emer- gency departments within a major multi-site Victorian hos- pital network in the month of June 2019. Of a total 20209 presentations to the ED, 527 (2.6%) had a dermatology related presenting complaint or diagnosis, of which 131 (24.9%) were attributed to cellulitis or abscess. Only 47 (14.9%) of the 316 presentations excluding cellulitis, abscess, trauma and non-dermatological final diagnoses were admitted, resulting in a discharge rate of 85%, com- pared with the Victorian state average of 62% for all emer- gency presentations (1). We discuss the implications of these ED presentations in relation to the services provided by dermatologists, general practitioners, emergency physi- cians and the cost to the community.


1. (1) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Emergency department care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics. Health services series no. 89. Cat. no. HSE 216. Canberra: AIHW.