Factors associated with epinephrine administration for anaphylaxis in children before arrival to the emergency department

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Publication date: Available online 12 July 2017
Source:Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Author(s): Melissa Robinson, Matthew Greenhawt, David R. Stukus
BackgroundEpinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis but may be underused by patients and medical personnel.ObjectiveTo evaluate factors associated with anaphylaxis management before arrival at the emergency department (ED) or urgent care center (UCC).MethodsWe performed a retrospective review of electronic medical records for all patients aged 0 to 25 years presenting with anaphylaxis to the ED or UCC at a pediatric academic referral center during 2009 to 2013.ResultsA total of 408 patients (mean age, 7.25 years; 62% male) were included for analysis. Only 148 patients (36.3%) received epinephrine before arrival at the ED or UCC. Reactions occurring at home (n = 36/114) were less likely to be treated with epinephrine compared with reactions occurring at school (n = 30/49) (odds ratio [OR], 0.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.15–0.59). The odds of receiving epinephrine before arrival at the ED or UCC were significantly lower with a 2-organ system (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.30–0.85) or 3-organ system (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.21–0.81) presentation compared with 1-organ system involvement. Foods (342 [83.8%]) were the most commonly reported provoking trigger. Patients who did not receive epinephrine before arrival at the ED or UCC were significantly less likely to be discharged to home (OR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37–0.86; P = .01).ConclusionThis study identifies factors associated with prehospital management of anaphylaxis for children, which highlight that epinephrine administration may be occurring with considerable delay. Increased awareness and education of caregivers, patients, and medical professionals are necessary to provide optimal management.

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