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Emergency department childhood anaphylaxis presentations in regional/remote Australia

Weber, HC, Bassett, GL, Hollingsworth, LK, Gan, VWS, Rose, S, Lim, J and Prior, SJ ORCID: 0000-0001-5782-9141 2022 , 'Emergency department childhood anaphylaxis presentations in regional/remote Australia' , Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health , pp. 1-7 , doi:

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Aim:Explore the prevalence of childhood anaphylaxis and clinical presentation of anaphylaxis in children across two regional emergency departments over a 7-year period.Methods:Retrospective audit of all children (0-18 years) presenting to emergency from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2016 with anaphylaxis, defined by Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy definitions and doctor diagnosis.Results:Seven hundred and twenty-four patients were identified with allergic diagnosis, 60% were diagnosed with non-anaphylaxis allergic reactions or unspecified urticaria and 40% with anaphylaxis (n = 286). Annual prevalence of anaphylaxis remained stable over the study period (M = 30.9/10 000 cases, range: 20.8-48.3/10 000). Gender distribution was equal, median age was 9.48 years (interquartile range = 4-15). Most (71%) arrived by private transport. 23% had a prior history of anaphylaxis. Food triggers (44%) were the most common cause of anaphylaxis. Insect bites/stings triggers occurred in 21%. Patients were promptly assessed (average wait time = 13 min), 16% received prior adrenaline injections. Adrenaline was administered in 26% and 20% were admitted to hospital. On discharge, 29% had a follow-up plan, 9% received an allergy clinic referral, 6% anaphylaxis action plan, 26% adrenaline autoinjector prescriptions and allergy testing performed in 6%.Conclusions:We found a relatively low prevalence of overall childhood anaphylaxis in a regional area. The two most common causes of anaphylaxis in this population (food and bites/stings) recorded increased prevalence providing an opportunity for further study. Significant gaps in evidence-based care of anaphylaxis were noted, demonstrating the need for improved recognition and treatment guideline implementation in regional areas.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Weber, HC and Bassett, GL and Hollingsworth, LK and Gan, VWS and Rose, S and Lim, J and Prior, SJ
Keywords: anaphylaxis, paediatric, regional/rural
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
ISSN: 1034-4810
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Paediatrics and Child Health Division (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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