Articles

The indications for and timing of haemodialysis in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury in Johannesburg, South Africa

P M Brown, L Redford, S Omar

Abstract


Background. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common among patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). It is an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality. The optimal timing of renal replacement therapy (RRT) remains unknown, resulting in a wide variation in observed current practices. There is a paucity of data on current practices within ICUs in South Africa.

Objectives. To describe current practices in the timing of RRT in patients with AKI admitted to the ICU. The secondary objectives were to describe the patient characteristics, severity of illness scores, staging at initiation of RRT, outcome at ICU discharge, and to estimate and describe delays in the initiation of RRT. Methods. A retrospective, descriptive study was conducted in an adult academic ICU in Soweto from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015.

Results. There were 2 152 ICU admissions over the 2 years. Less than a tenth of the patients (3.5%; n=76) required RRT and the majority had sepsis (83%). The most common indication for RRT was oliguria/anuria (50%; n=38), followed by worsening urea/creatinine (29%; n=22), metabolic acidosis (11.8%; n=9), refractory hyperkalaemia (5.3%; n=4), fluid overload (2.6%; n=2) and other (1.3%; n=1). More than half of the patients (55%; n=42) had RRT instituted on admission day (D0 ), while 45% (n=34) had RRT initiated after D0 (D1-21). RRT was initiated at stage 3 AKI in 90% and 94% of D0 RRT group and D1-21 RRT group, respectively. The median (interquartile range (IQR)) time to starting RRT was 4 (4) hours once the decision to initiate RRT was made. The composite outcome of death, RRT dependence and diuretic dependence at ICU discharge was 21% and there was no difference between the two groups (p=0.22). The ICU mortality was 3%.

Conclusion. The sampled population was young, predominantly male and had post emergency surgery with a high burden of sepsis and HIV. The observed current threshold for RRT was late (stage 3 AKI with classic/emergent indications) with outcomes comparable with the reviewed literature.


Authors' affiliations

P M Brown, Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

L Redford, Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

S Omar, Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2021;37(2):51-56. DOI:10.7196/SAJCC.2021.v37i2.458

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-08-06
Date published: 2021-08-06

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