Review article: Quality of follow-up care for anaphylaxis in the emergency department

Fiona J. Burnell, Gerben Keijzers*, Pete Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of allergic disorders is rising, with a corresponding increase in patients presenting to an ED with anaphylaxis. Appropriate follow up is required for patients with anaphylaxis. We reviewed two potential performance indicators for the quality of post-discharge care: (i) the rate of self-injectable adrenaline prescription; and (ii) the referral rate for follow-up care with allergy specialists. A search of Cochrane Library, PubMed and Google Scholar was performed using the following initial search string: anaphylaxis and 'emergency department'. We considered any (interventional or observational design) study assessing post-discharge care in anaphylaxis, measured by either adrenaline self-injection prescription or allergist referral. Subjects were patients with (suspected) anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction, with no age limit. This review summarises findings from 16 relevant papers, all retrospective analyses of post-discharge care for anaphylaxis. Weighted arithmetic means were calculated for rates of prescription of adrenaline auto-injector and referral to an allergist following admission to an ED in patients with (suspected) anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction. Prescription rates for self-injected adrenaline at the time of discharge following anaphylaxis varied from 0% to 68%, with a mean of 44%. Allergist referral rates ranged from 0% to 84%, with a mean of 33%. This review demonstrates that there is room for improvement in post-discharge care for patients who present to the ED with an anaphylactic reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


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