Chronic Kidney Disease Patients May be at Higher Risk for Hospital Complications

Chronic Kidney Disease Patients May be at Higher Risk for Hospital Complications

Researchers at the University of Alberta have now shown that hospitalized patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be at higher risk of hospital-acquired complications. The study, “Risk of Hospital-Acquired Complications in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease,” was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

It is widely known that during a hospital stay, undesirable and unintended conditions or situations can occur including catheter associated urinary tract infections, vascular catheter associated infections, surgical-derived infections, pressure ulcers, blood incompatibility, and falls. Often, the unintended problems lead to more prolonged and complicated hospital stays.

Certain more vulnerable patients present higher risks of hospital-acquired complications than others. For some, the unintended complications or injuries can be associated with increased healthcare costs and mortality.

To find out whether patients with CKD are at higher risk of experiencing the complications, researchers analyzed adult patients from the population based cohort Alberta Kidney Disease Network, who were hospitalized from April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2008. Of the 536,594 patients examined, 8.5% had CKD. Of the CKD patients, most were older in age and more likely to be admitted at the hospital due to circulatory system diseases than the non-CKD patients.

After adjusting the model for several factors, the authors demonstrated that patients with CKD were 19% more likely to have complications than patients without CKD. In other determinations, the risk of experiencing hospital-acquired complications correlated with the severity of CKD – as patients with the most severe CKD represented an 81% higher risk than patients with normal kidney function.

Researchers, led by Dr. Scott Klarenbach and first author Babak Bohlouli, a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Alberta, further divided complications into potentially preventable and always preventable categories. Results demonstrated that the preventable complications increased according to the severity of CKD and suggested that greater, targeted hospital strategies should be considered to prevent complications for those with CKD.

“Determining that patients with CKD are at greater risk of hospital complications will aid the development of targeted strategies to prevent such complications in this vulnerable patient population, and will improve quality of care,” Bohlouli said in a press release.

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