Trends and Variation in Pediatric Anaphylaxis Care From 2016 to 2022

Timothy E. Dribin, Mark I. Neuman, David Schnadower, Hugh A. Sampson, John J. Porter, Kenneth A. Michelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Variation in the use of treatments and hospitalization for anaphylaxis would suggest a lack of consensus in therapeutic approach. Objective: To evaluate trends and practice variation in the emergency department (ED) care of children with anaphylaxis in a large US cohort. Methods: We conducted a 48-site retrospective cohort study using the Pediatric Health Information System from January 2016 through September 2022. Children younger than 18 years with a primary diagnosis of anaphylaxis were included. Care trends were assessed using negative binomial regression modeling. Rates of medication use, hospitalizations, and revisits were reported as medians with interquartile ranges (IQRs). Results: There were 42,909 ED visits for anaphylaxis, with a 4.2% per-year increase in visit incidence (95% CI, 1.8-6.7) during the study period. The median hospitalization rate was 3.5% (IQR, 2.2-6.0), and the 3-day ED revisit rate was 0.6% (IQR, 0.4-0.9). The hospital-level median use of therapies included intramuscular epinephrine (55.3%; IQR, 50.1-59.9), systemic steroids (73.8%; IQR, 63.9-81.4), antihistamines (59.9%; IQR, 53.5-65.5), H2-receptor antagonists (56.8%; IQR, 42.3-66.2), bronchodilators (15.1%; IQR, 12.5-17.0), inhaled epinephrine (1.1%; IQR, 0.6-1.9), and fluid boluses (19.8%; IQR, 11.3-29.3). Severe reactions requiring intensive care unit admission (1.5%; IQR, 0.8-2.2), vasopressors (0.3%; IQR, 0.0-0.6), and intubation (0.2%; IQR, 0.0-0.3) were rare. Conclusions: ED visits for anaphylaxis increased during the study period, but hospitalization rates were low. Substantial variation exists between EDs regarding the use of anaphylaxis therapies, supporting the need for future research to evaluate the efficacy of these medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1189
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Anaphylaxis
  • Antihistamines
  • Bronchodilators
  • Corticosteroids
  • Emergency department
  • Epinephrine
  • Hospitalizations
  • Trends
  • Variation


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