Characteristics and preventability of medication-related admissions for acute kidney injury and dehydration in elderly patients

Tristan Coppes, Ankie C M Hazen, Dorien L M Zwart, Ellen S Koster, Teun van Gelder, Marcel L Bouvy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: Patients with impaired renal function using medication that affects glomerular filtration rate are at increased risk of developing acute kidney injury (AKI) leading to hospital admissions. The risk increases during periods of dehydration due to diarrhoea, vomiting or fever (so-called "sick days"), or high environmental temperatures (heat wave). This study aims to gain insight into the characteristics and preventability of medication-related admissions for AKI and dehydration in elderly patients.

METHODS: Retrospective case series study in patients aged ≥ 65 years with admission for acute kidney injury, dehydration or electrolyte imbalance related to dehydration that was defined as medication-related. General practitioner's (GP) patient records including medication history and hospital discharge letters were available. For each admission, patient and admission characteristics were collected to review the patient journey. A case-by-case assessment of preventability of hospital admissions was performed.

RESULTS: In total, 75 admissions were included. Most prevalent comorbidities were hypertension, diabetes, and known impaired renal function. Diuretics and RAS-inhibitors were the most prevalent medication combination. Eighty percent of patients experienced non-acute onset of symptoms and 60% had contacted their GP within 2 weeks prior to admission. Around 40% (n = 29) of admissions were considered potentially preventable if pharmacotherapy had been timely and adequately adjusted.

CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of patients admitted with AKI or dehydration experience non-acute onset of symptoms and had contacted their GP within 2 weeks prior to admission. Timely adjusting of medication in these patients could have potentially prevented a considerable number of admissions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Acute kidney injury
  • Dehydration
  • Impaired renal function
  • Medication-related admission
  • Preventability
  • Sick day rules

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