Low Blood Sugar and High Blood Potassium Common Complaints Related to Medical Care Received by Kidney Disease Patients

by Kathy Jones on  February 21, 2014 at 8:38 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reveals that patients suffering from chronic kidney disease are at a high risk of experiencing hazardous events that can be related to medical treatments they receive, with low blood sugar and high blood potassium being the most common complaints.
 Low Blood Sugar and High Blood Potassium Common Complaints Related to Medical Care Received by Kidney Disease Patients
Low Blood Sugar and High Blood Potassium Common Complaints Related to Medical Care Received by Kidney Disease Patients

Patients with CKD are susceptible to experiencing harm related to the care they receive due to their impaired kidney function and the complexity of the medical treatments they undergo.

Some studies have assessed the harms that CKD patients experience when they''re hospitalized, but most of the care they receive is delivered outside of the hospital. Jennifer Ginsberg, Jeffrey Fink, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine), and their colleagues examined 267 CKD patients enrolled in the ongoing Safe Kidney Care study, which attempts to determine the frequency of complications of medical care pertinent to the outpatient treatment of patients with CKD. The researchers looked for patient-reported adverse safety incidents (class I), which are reported hazardous events or symptoms that study participants attribute to a medication, as well as actionable safety findings (class II), which are hazardous clinical disturbances detected at study evaluations that have the potential to be corrected with treatment or medication modification.

Among the major findings:
- A total of 185 patients (69.3%) had at least one class I or II event, 102 (38.2%) had more than one event, and 48 (18.0%) had at least one event from both classes.
- The most common class I event was low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
- The most common class II event was high blood potassium (hyperkalemia).
- Hypoglycemia (in patients with diabetes) and falling or severe dizziness (in patients without diabetes) were most frequently paired with other complications of medical care.

"Disease-specific adverse safety event events are strikingly common in CKD and in the setting of medications that can account for such events. It is possible that efforts to prevent these unintended events will reduce the rate of renal function loss and poor outcomes in patients with CKD," said Dr. Fink.

Study co-authors include Min Zhan, PhD, Clarissa Diamantidis, MD, Corinne Woods, RPh, and Jingjing Chen.

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures.

The article, entitled "Patient-Reported and Actionable Safety Events in CKD," will appear online at on February 20, 2014.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

Source: Newswise

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