Journal Article

Late referral of end-stage renal failure.

P A Ellis, V Reddy, N Bari and H S Cairns

in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine

Published on behalf of Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland

Volume 91, issue 11, pages 727-732
Published in print November 1998 | ISSN: 1460-2725
Published online November 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2393 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/91.11.727
Late referral of end-stage renal failure.

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We studied all new patients accepted for renal replacement therapy (RRT) in one unit from 1/1/96 to 31/12/97 (n = 198), to establish time from nephrology referral to RRT, evidence of renal disease prior to referral and the adequacy of renal management prior to referral. Sixty four (32.3%, late referral group) required RRT within 12 weeks of referral. Fifty-nine (29.8%) had recognizable signs of chronic renal failure > 26 weeks prior to referral. Patients starting RRT soon after referral were hospitalized for significantly longer on starting RRT (RRT within 12 weeks of referral, median hospitalization 25.0 days (n = 64); RRT > 12 weeks after referral, median 9.7 days (n = 126), (p < 0.001)). Observed survival at 1 year was 68.3% overall, with 1-year survival of the late referral and early referral groups being 60.5% and 72.5%, respectively (p = NS). Hypertension was found in 159 patients (80.3%): 46 (28.9%) were started on antihypertensive medication following referral, while a further 28 (17.6%) were started on additional antihypertensives. Of the diabetic population (n = 78), only 26 (33.3%) were on an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) at referral. Many patients are referred late for dialysis despite early signs of renal failure, and the pre-referral management of many of the patients, as evidenced by the treatment of hypertension and use of ACEI in diabetics, is less than optimal.

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Subjects: Medicine and Health

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