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Factors Associated With Cellulitis-Related ED Visits

Disparities in health care may be associated with the burden of emergency department (ED) visits for cellulitis/erysipelas, according to the findings of a recent study.

Researchers came to their conclusion after conducting a cross-sectional study using a 20% sample of the 2006 to 2016 National Emergency Department Sample (n=320,080,467) to determine the prevalence, risk factors, complications, and costs of emergency care for cellulitis/erysipelas.

They identified multiple factors associated with ED visits for cellulitis/erysipelas. According to their findings, the mean annual incidence of ED visits with a primary diagnosis of cellulitis/erysipelas among adult and pediatric patients were 2.42 to 3.55 per million and 1.14 to 2.09 per million, respectively.

While ED visits for cellulitis/erysipelas decreased significantly from 2006 to 2015, the researchers found the cost of these visits doubled among adults ($720-$1,680) and tripled among children ($939-$2,823). Also, ED visits for cellulitis/erysipelas were associated with increased infectious complications.

Compared with patients without a primary diagnosis of cellulitis/erysipelas, the group found ED visits with a primary diagnosis of cellulitis/erysipelas were associated public or no insurance, lower household income-quartiles, and emergent care during the weekends and summer months.

“There is a substantial and increasing burden of ED visits for cellulitis/erysipelas in the US,” the researchers concluded. “Many ED visits occurred for uncomplicated cellulitis/erysipelas, in part due to healthcare disparities.”


Ren Z, Silverberg JI. Burden, risk factors and infectious complications of cellulitis and erysipelas in United States adults and children in the emergency department setting. J Am Acad Dermatol. Published online November 22, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2020.11.021

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