Anaphylaxis Knowledge and Practice Preferences of Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physicians: A National Survey

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To assess the knowledge and practice preferences of anaphylaxis in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians by practice setting, and to identify factors associated with intramuscular (IM) epinephrine administration and admission of patients with anaphylaxis.

Study design

The cohort was a cross-sectional convenience sample; potential participants were recruited using contact information obtained from the American Board of Pediatrics and American Board of Medical Specialties membership databases and were asked to complete a 12 item survey. Board-certified PEM physicians were categorized by practice setting: university hospital, non-university hospital with a residency training program, or community hospital with no residency training program. Management practices based on practice setting are presented as proportions. Multivariate logistic regression identified factors associated with IM epinephrine administration and admission of patients with anaphylaxis for observation.


Of the 1114 PEM physicians solicited, 620 (56%) completed the survey. The majority (93.5%) correctly identified epinephrine as the treatment of choice for anaphylaxis, yet only 66.9% used the IM route of administration, and only 37.4% admitted affected patients for observation. Factors associated with the use of IM epinephrine included the presence of a residency program at the site of care (OR, 2.28, 95% CI, 1.3-4.04) and higher volume of anaphylaxis cases (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.06-1.38). Increasing anaphylaxis case volume was associated with decreased likelihood of admission of patients with anaphylaxis (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.72-0.92).


Even though the majority of PEM physicians correctly report using epinephrine in pediatric anaphylaxis, not all use the preferred administration route, and many discharge patients home after an abbreviated period.

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