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Summer 2010, Vol. 18 No. 2

Hong Kong J. Dermatol. Venereol. (2010) 18, 65-71


Original Article

Pattern of dermatological diseases in a Hong Kong regional hospital

Y Chan 陳湧, WYM Tang 鄧旭明, SKF Loo 盧景勳, KHN Chan 陳厚毅, GJ Chan 陳慶釗, KK Lo 盧乾剛

Abstract
Background: Dermatological consultations are common in hospital but its pattern is less studied. Neither its effect on patient management nor its difference to out-patient is well documented. Objectives: To study the clinicopathological pattern of skin diseases affecting in-patients in a regional hospital under the management of a dermatologist and to compare with a government centralised out-patient dermatological service. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: A regional hospital in the New Territories West, Hong Kong. Patients: All inpatient dermatological consultations made to the dermatology team from 1st January to 30th July 2007 in a regional hospital in Hong Kong. Results: During the study period, dermatological consultations were delivered to 455 patients. A total of 448 patients were recruited. Most of the consultations were requested by physicians (51.6%), orthopaedic surgeons (19%) and paediatricians (9.3%). Forty-three percent of pre-consultative diagnoses were not specific and labelled as 'skin rash' by the requesting clinicians. Specific diagnoses were given by the referring clinicians in 57% consultations and 61.3% of these were in agreement with that made by a dermatologist. Overall, 77% patients had an altered diagnosis after dermatological consultation and 85.4% of them had altered treatments. The most common diagnoses made by dermatologist were eczema (all types) (34.3%), cutaneous infection (23.9%) and drug eruption (10%). The latter two had significantly higher proportions in our study when compared with an out-patient dermatology clinic setting in Hong Kong. Conclusion: The quality of skin disease management was enhanced through dermatologist involvement. A difference in pattern existed between in-patient and out-patient settings.