Paediatrics Publications


Implementing a fluid volume management program to decrease intra-dialytic hypotensive events in a paediatric in-centre haemodialysis unit: a quality improvement project

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Pediatric Nephrology





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Background: Intra-dialytic hypotension (IDH) is the most common serious adverse event in paediatric haemodialysis (HD). Repeated IDH results in chronic multi-organ damage and increased mortality. At the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, retrospective data from all in-centre HD sessions revealed frequently occurring IDH events (16.5 ± 5.6% of HD sessions per week). Based on literature review and clinical expertise, fluid volume management was selected as a potential modifiable risk factor to decrease IDH. Root causes identified as contributing to IDH were incorporated into a Paediatric haemodialysis fluid volume management (PedHDfluid) program using the Model for Improvement methodology including rapid cycles of change. Methods: Multiple measures were evaluated including (i) Outcome: IDH events per number of HD sessions per week; (ii) Process: number of changes to estimated dry weight per number of HD sessions per week; (iii) Balancing: time spent on dry weight meeting per week. Data was analysed using statistical process control charts. We aimed to decrease IDH in our dialysis unit to < 10% of HD sessions per week over a 6-month period by implementing a PedHDfluid program, including a multifaceted dry weight assessment protocol, multidisciplinary meetings and electronic health records “Dry Weight Evaluation flow sheet/synopsis”. Results: The project resulted in a decline in IDH events from 16.5 ± 5.6% to 8.8 ± 3.3% of HD sessions per week. More frequent dry weight changes and increased awareness of fluid removal goals were noted. Conclusions: A multidisciplinary approach including regular assessment, guidelines and systematic discussion, with an embedded electronic health record assessment and data gathering tool may sustainably reduce IDH events. Graphical abstract: A higher resolution version of the Graphical abstract is available as Supplementary information [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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