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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Dec;19(12):2414-9. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2008010022. Epub 2008 Sep 5.

Chronic kidney disease adversely influences patient safety.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Reducing medical errors and improving patient safety have become a national priority. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be at higher risk for adverse consequences of medical care, but few studies have evaluated this question. Here, data for patients hospitalized in the Veteran's Health Administration during 2004 to 2005 was analyzed to conduct a cross-sectional study of CKD and adverse safety events. Outcomes included 13 patient safety indicators (PSI) defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and six experimental PSI relevant to CKD. The 71,666 (29%) hospitalized veterans with CKD had a higher risk for several PSI, even after case-mix adjustment. Among surgical hospitalizations, CKD was associated with increased risk for hip fracture, physiologic/metabolic derangements, and complications of anesthesia. Among all acute hospitalizations, the PSI with the highest risk in patients with CKD were infection as a result of medical care and death among those in diagnosis-related groups normally associated with low mortality. Furthermore, as preadmission estimated GFR decreased, a significant trend of increasing risk for all PSI was observed (P = 0.001). In conclusion, hospitalized patients with CKD are at increased risk for adverse safety events, measured by established PSI. Further investigation is needed to develop and test interventions to reduce this risk.

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