Aims: To determine the referral rate, factors affecting referral and outcomes across the spectrum of AKI in a population based study.
Methods: We identified all patients with serum creatinine concentrations epsilon 150 mu mol/l (male) or epsilon 130 mu mol/l (female) over a 6-month period. AKI was defined according to the RIFLE classification (risk, injury, failure, loss, end stage renal disease [ESRD]). Clinical information and outcomes were obtained from each patient's case records.
Results: A total of 562 patients were identified as having AKI (incidence 2147 per million population/year [pmp/y]). One hundred and sixty-four patients (29%) were referred to nephrologists-referral rate 627 pmp/y. Forty-nine percent of patients whose serum creatinine rose to > 300 mu mol/l were referred compared with 22% in our previous study of 1997. Forty-eight patients required renal replacement therapy-incidence 184 pmp/y in comparison to 50 pmp/y in our previous study of 1997. Patients had higher odds of referral if they were male, of younger age and were in the F category of the RIFLE classification. Patients had lower odds of referral if they had multiple co-morbid conditions or if they were managed in a hospital without a nephrology service.
Conclusion: There has been a significant rise in the referral rate of patients with AKI to nephrologists but even during our period of study only one-third of such patients were being referred. With rising incidence and increased awareness, the referral rate will certainly rise putting a significant burden on the nephrology services.
- critically-ill patients
- replacement therapy
- rifle criteria