Management of anaphylaxis in Spain: pediatric emergency care providers’ knowledge

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Acute care providers must diagnose and treat patients with anaphylaxis. The objective was to analyze Spanish pediatric emergency departments’ (ED) providers’ knowledge of the international recommendations for the management of anaphylaxis.


A web-based survey including providers (both attending and residents) from seven Spanish pediatric EDs was conducted. To analyze the knowledge of the identification of anaphylaxis, we used the diagnostic criteria given by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Food Allergy and the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (2005). To analyze the management, we used the practical recommendations on the management of anaphylaxis published by the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters (2014).


A total of 425 physicians received the link and 337 (79.2%) completed the survey (138 attending, 76.6%; 199 residents, 81.2%, P<0.05). More than 90% of the providers correctly identified the anaphylaxis, except for not diagnosing it when reduced blood pressure is detected after exposure to a known allergen (69.7%) and misdiagnosis of anaphylaxis in patients with progressive urticaria with significant angioedema (65.9%). Nearly 100% identified epinephrine as the first-line treatment. Main failures of treatment were related to the position of the patient, the effect of medications in preventing a biphasic reaction, the recommended time to observe patients, and those related to the follow-up. No significant differences were found between attendings and residents.


Even though the Spanish pediatric ED providers’ knowledge of the management of anaphylaxis is good, certain improvement areas are identified in both the identification and the management of these patients.

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