WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney dialysis patients discharged from acute care hospitals and admitted to long-term care hospitals for recovery have a high rate of readmission to acute care facilities, U.S. researchers have found.
The new two-year study included 206 dialysis patients at a long-term care facility. Of the 45 percent who had experienced acute kidney failure, 30 percent recovered enough to come off dialysis, while 70 percent had to remain on dialysis and were diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure.
Most of the dialysis-dependent patients returned to an acute care hospital, died or were placed in a nursing home following their stay at the long-term care hospital, the study authors reported.
The study was released online Dec. 14 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
"We frequently encounter questions from physicians and families of dialysis patients about the outcome of their loved ones during their stay at long-term care facilities. This study gives us a clearer idea about what happens to these patients," study leader Dr. Charuhas Thakar, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati and chief of the renal section at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said in a news release.
The role that dialysis plays in the recovery of acute kidney injury isn't clear, but these findings suggest a direct link between acute kidney failure and end-stage kidney disease, according to Thakar.
"We speculate that finding new avenues to improve dialysis care may help in lowering the morbidity in these patients," and associated health care costs, he said.
The National Kidney Foundation has more about dialysis.