Improving Survival in Patients with Acute Kidney Injury
It is common for patients admitted to an intensive care unit for advanced life support to develop acute injury of the kidneys. A considerable proportion of these patients will require acute dialysis to support their failing kidneys.
This not only greatly increases the complexity and costs of care for these patients, but is also associated with an unacceptably high risk of death. Many patients who survive will need long-term chronic dialysis therapy.
While acute dialysis therapy has been used in sick patients for decades, important aspects of how this therapy is applied are not clearly understood. In particular, it is still not known when is the best time to start dialysis in patients whose kidneys are injured and failing. This critical knowledge gap in the care of patients has contributed to inconsistencies in practice.
Dr. Sean Bagshaw, Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Nephrology, is studying the optimal timing to start dialysis therapy in these patients. His research will include a series of clinical studies and trials to understand how best to select patients for acute dialysis and when therapy should ideally begin. Bagshaw will also integrate new diagnostic methods for detecting kidney injury and predicting its severity.
Bagshaw’s findings could lead to improved quality of care and clinical outcomes, and may completely change the process for how critically-ill patients with severe kidney failure begin to receive dialysis.