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Ir J Med Sci. 2017 May;186(2):305-307. doi: 10.1007/s11845-016-1424-8. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

An analysis of inpatient dermatologic consultations at University Hospital Limerick: inadequate infrastructure leads to acute skin failure.

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Department of Dermatology, Limerick University Hospital, Limerick, Ireland.
Department of Dermatology, Limerick University Hospital, Limerick, Ireland.



Approximately 15-20 % of the general population have skin diseases and it is therefore clear that inpatients can also present with various skin conditions that require dermatology input and in some cases the primary reason for admission to hospital. Inpatient hospital care is more expensive than outpatient care. Recent trends are moving towards outpatient care, as there is huge pressure on hospital bed availability.


The main aim of this study was to analyse patients referred with dermatological complaints and how soon after admission, were patients assessed by the dermatology team. Most dermatologic work is outpatient based and inpatient workload can be underestimated.


We retrospectively reviewed our inpatient consultations with a total of 220 consultations (males 113, females 107) between August 2014 and April 2015, to document this significant area of work over an eight-month period.


The services requesting consultations were mostly general medicine 45.9 % (101/220), surgery 25.4 % (56/220) and paediatrics 24 % (53/220). Dermatologist's diagnosis was different from the referral team diagnosis in 60 % (132/220) of consults, with prompt inpatient assessment by the dermatologist within 24 h of admission. Most common dermatoses diagnosed included eczema 21.8 % (48/220) and psoriasis 7.3 % (16/220).


Timely diagnosis and inpatient care has important implications on appropriate treatment, duration of hospital stay and patient outcome.


University Hospital Limerick (UHL)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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