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P140: Variability in practice patterns in the emergency department treatment of hyperkalemia

  • R. Alaraimi (a1), S. Gosselin (a1), G. Clark (a1), H. Gangatharan (a1), R. Tam (a1), E. Villeneuve (a1), C. Meyers (a1), D. Iannuzzi (a1) and A. Grunbaum (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction: Hyperkalemia is a common electrolyte disturbance associated with morbidity and mortality. Commonly used therapies for hyperkalemia include IV calcium, sodium bicarbonate, insulin, beta-adrenergic agents, ion-exchange resins, diuretics and hemodialysis. This study aims to evaluate which treatments are more commonly used to treat hyperkalemia and to examine factors which influence those clinical decisions. Methods: This is a retrospective chart review of all cases of hyperkalemia encountered in 2017 at a Canadian adult ED. Potassium values were classified as mild (5.5 - 6.5 mEq/L), moderate (>6.5 - 7.5 mEq/L) and severe (>7.5 mEq/L). Treatment choices were then recorded and matched to hemodynamic stability, degree of hyperkalemia and ECG findings. More statistical methods to test correlation between treatment and specific variables will be performed over the next 2 months, including logistic regression to highlight potential determinants of treatment and Chi-square tests to verify randomness and to construct 95% confidence intervals. Results: 1867 ED visits were identified, of which 479 met the inclusion criteria. 89.1% of hyperkalemia cases were mild, 8.2% were moderate, and 2.7% were severe. IV insulin was used in 22.1% of cases, followed by Kayexalate in 20.5%, sodium bicarbonate in 12.3%, IV calcium in 9.4%, frusemide in 7.3%, salbutamol in 2.7%, and dialysis in 1.9%. Moderate and severe hyperkalemia were associated with higher use of insulin (79.5% and 64.3% respectively), IV calcium (41% and 64.3% respectively), sodium bicarbonate (56.4% and 85.7% respectively). Bradycardia was associated with higher insulin and IV calcium use (46.7% and 33.3% respectively). Hypotension was associated with a similar increase in use of insulin and IV calcium (34.2% and 23.7% respectively). There were only 15 cases of cardiac arrest in which sodium bicarbonate and IV calcium were more frequently used (80% and 60% respectively). Conclusion: This study demonstrates variability in the ED management of hyperkalemia. We found that Insulin and Kayexalate were the 2 most common interventions, with degree of hyperkalemia, bradycardia and hypotension influencing rates of treatment. Overuse of kayexalate for emergent treatment of hyperkalemia is evident despite weak supporting evidence. Paradoxically, beta adrenergic agents were underutilized despite their rapid effect and safer profile. The development of a widely accepted guideline may help narrow the differences in practice and potentially improve outcomes.

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P140: Variability in practice patterns in the emergency department treatment of hyperkalemia

  • R. Alaraimi (a1), S. Gosselin (a1), G. Clark (a1), H. Gangatharan (a1), R. Tam (a1), E. Villeneuve (a1), C. Meyers (a1), D. Iannuzzi (a1) and A. Grunbaum (a1)...

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