Referral Pattern of Skin Diseases in an Acute Outpatient Dermatological Clinic in Copenhagen
Helle Kiellberg Larsen A1 and Carsten Sand A1
The referral pattern of acute dermatologic conditions is not well described in either outpatients or hospitalized patients. The aim of this study is to describe in more detail the skin diseases that were referred for evaluation in an acute outpatient clinic at Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen. In a 3-month period in 2003 a total of 428 consecutive new patients were referred for various skin diseases that needed subacute and acute dermatological evaluation in a university hospital setting. Referral pattern, age ratio and sex ratio were examined retrospectively. Two hundred and twenty-five (53%) of the 428 patients were referred from other hospital clinics in the local area. Sixty-six (15%) were referred from private practising dermatologists and 64 (15%) from general practitioners in the City of Copenhagen. Referral information was not noted in 35 (8%) of the 428 patients. The most prevalent diagnoses were: unspecified eczema (10.7%), drug eruptions (6.3 %), psoriasis (6.3%), atopic dermatitis (5.6%), bacterial skin infections (4.0%), inflammatory skin disorders (3.7%), seborrhoeic dermatitis (3.5%), urticaria (3.0%), seborrhoeic keratosis (3.0%), toxic contact dermatitis (2.8%), ulcus cruris (2.8%), autoimmune diseases (2.8%), malignant skin tumours (2.5%), candidiasis (2.5%), pruritus/prurigo (2.5%) and viral skin infections (2.5%). The fact that drug eruptions are one of the leading causes of acute referral conditions probably reflects the proximity to other hospital settings, where a large number of patients receive several systemic medicaments for various conditions.