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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 15(6); 2004 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2004;15(6): 531-536.
Clinical Investigation of an Acute Allergic Reaction in a Patient Admitted to the Emergency Department of a College Hospital in a Small City
Chan Woo Park, Taek Gun Ok, Jun Hwi Cho, Sung Eun Kim, Ki Hoon Choi, Ji Hoon Bae, Jeong Yeul Seo, Jae Bong Chung, Hee Cheol Ahn, Moo Eob Ahn, Byung Ryul Cho, Ki Cheol You
1Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea. cjhemd@kangwon.ac.kr
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
3Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
Emergency department visits for acute allergic reactions are common. However, relatively little is known about the characteristics of patients who visit the emergency department for such reactions. We undertook this study to evaluate the frequency, the cause, the severity, the treatment and the prognosis of patients admitted for allergic reactions to a college hospital in a city.
We studied 724 patients visiting two emergency departments of college hospitals during the years 2002-2003. Clinical symptoms involved pruritus, dyspnea, hoarseness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, and seizure. Physical examinations involved vital signs, urticaria, rash, local edema, angioedema, rhinitis/conjunctivitis, wheezing, stridor, cyanosis, and laryngeal edema. We divided the causative agents into drugs, insects, foods, and others. We classified the treatments of the allergic reaction as antihistamines, corticosteroids, epinephrine, oxygen, and hydration. We divided patients into mild, moderate, and severe acute hypersensitivity groups.
In order of frequency, clinical symptoms were pruritus (88.1%), urticaria (72.4%), rash (68.9%), local edema (11.7%), etc. The causative agents were foods (53.0%), unknown origin (29.1%), insects (11.0%), and drugs (6.8%). Antihistamine, corticosteroid, epinephrine were injected in 93.4%, 89.1%, 2.3% of the patients, respectively. The mild, moderate, and severe groups were 87%, 9.8%, and 3.2% of the patients, respectively.
For patients with allergic symptoms visiting to the university-affiliated teaching hospitals in a small city, foods were the major causative agent, but drugs and insects provoked more severe allergic reactions.
Key words: Hypersensitivity, Anaphylaxis, Emergencies
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