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One of every four children admitted to pediatric intensive care units around the world develops acute kidney injury (AKI), which can increase the risk of death and extend the length of hospitalization, according to a study published online in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“The frequency and early occurrence of acute kidney injury reinforces the need for systematic surveillance at the time patients are admitted to intensive care,” said pediatric nephrologist Danielle Soranno, MD, and the study’s site lead investigator, Katja Gist, DO, of The Kidney Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Children’s Colorado was one of more than 30 centers from nine countries to collect data and study the epidemiology of acute kidney injury in critically ill children. The AWARE (Assessment of Worldwide AKI, Renal Angina and Epidemiology in children) study was coordinated by the Center for Acute Care Nephrology at Cincinnati Children’s.
“The high rates of AKI, which can worsen short-term outcomes and predispose children to chronic kidney disease, has been underestimated until now,” said Dr. Gist. “At Children’s Colorado, we are pleased to be taking a lead role in addressing early recognition and management for AKI.”
The findings of the study, the largest of its kind, ensure that participating hospitals likes Children’s Colorado will enhance their focus on identifying and proactively tackling a potential problem that was not clearly recognized or understood in the past. Increasing steps to address kidney problems earlier in a child’s stay in intensive care will improve outcomes and minimize what can result in a lifetime of kidney problems.