Urgent-start peritoneal dialysis: a quality improvement report

Arshia Ghaffari
American Journal of Kidney Diseases 2012, 59 (3): 400-8

BACKGROUND: Compared with hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a cost-effective and patient-centered option with an early survival advantage, yet only 7% of patients with end-stage renal disease in the United States receive PD. PD underutilization is due in part to nephrologists' unfamiliarity with directly starting PD in patients who present with kidney failure requiring urgent initiation of dialysis.

DESIGN: Quality improvement report.

SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: Single-center study whereby 18 patients who presented urgently with chronic kidney disease stage 5 without a plan for dialysis modality were offered PD as the initial modality of dialysis. Concurrently, 9 patients started on PD therapy nonurgently were included as the comparative group.

QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PLAN: An urgent-start PD program was developed to support and standardize the process by which patients without a plan for dialysis modality were started on PD. This included rapid PD access placement, PD nursing education, and administrative support. Standardized protocols were created for modality selection, initial prescription, and prevention and management of complications.

MEASURES: Short-term (90-day) clinical outcomes (Kt/V, hemoglobin, iron saturation, parathyroid hormone, phosphorus, calcium, and albumin) and complications (peritonitis, exit-site infections, leaks, and catheter malfunction) were compared between the urgent-start and non-urgent-start PD groups.

RESULTS: Short-term clinical outcomes were similar between the 2 groups for all parameters except uncorrected serum calcium level, which was lower in the urgent-start group (P = 0.02). Peritonitis, exit-site infection, catheter-related complications, and other complications were similar between the 2 groups, although the number of minor leaks was higher in the urgent-start group.

LIMITATIONS: This is a single-center nonrandomized study with a small sample size.

CONCLUSIONS: Our structured program shows safety and feasibility in starting PD in patients with kidney failure who present without a plan for dialysis modality. The steps laid out in this report can provide the framework for creating local urgent-start PD programs.

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