MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Who is most at risk for hyperkalemia post discharge?
Response: In the United States, an estimated 30 million people suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), about 3.7 million of which have hyperkalemia (elevated potassium level). Hyperkalemia (HK) can be chronic, so it’s important that those who have been diagnosed with hyperkalemia previously or have CKD have their potassium levels monitored by their healthcare provider. Additionally, although HK is estimated to be prevalent in more than 66,000 emergency department (ED) visits annually, there is limited knowledge about the management of patients with HK in the ED setting and post-discharge. We decided to focus our study to better understand and compare the ED management and post-discharge outcomes among patients with varying levels of hyperkalemia
To conduct this study, we analyzed the electronic medical record data from the Research Action for Health Network (2012-2018) of 6,222 adult patients with a randomly selected HK-related ED visit. We concluded that improved management of HK patients in the ED and post-discharge period is needed to reduce the recurrence of hyperkalemia.