The current growth in end-stage kidney disease populations has led to increased efforts to understand the impact of status at dialysis initiation on long-term outcomes. Our main objective was to improve the understanding of current Canadian nephrology practice between October 1998 and December 1999.
Fifteen nephrology centers in 7 provinces participated in a prospective data collection survey. The main outcome of interest was the clinical status at dialysis initiation determined by: residual kidney function, preparedness for chronic dialysis as measured by presence or absence of permanent peritoneal or hemodialysis access, hemoglobin and serum albumin. Uremic symptoms at dialysis initiation were also recorded, however, in some cases these symptom data were obtained retrospectively.
Data on 251 patients during 1-month periods were collected. Patients commenced dialysis at mean calculated creatinine clearance levels of approximately 10 ml/min, with an average of 3 symptoms. 35% of patients starting dialysis had been known to nephrologists for less than 3 months. These patients are more likely to commence without permanent access and with lower hemoglobin and albumin levels. Even of those known to nephrologists, only 66% had permanent access in place.
Patients commencing dialysis in Canada appear to be doing so in relative concordance with published guidelines with respect to timing of initiation. Despite an increased awareness of kidney disease, a substantial number of patients continues to commence dialysis without previous care by a nephrologist. Of those who are seen by nephrologists, clinical and laboratory parameters are suboptimal according to current guidelines. This survey serves as an important baseline for future comparisons after the implementation of educational strategies for referring physicians and nephrologists.
To measure interrater and intrarater agreement for an emergency department triage system.
A 2-phase experimental study was conducted using previously described in-person scripted encounters with emergency nurses who perform patient triage and attending emergency physicians at a tertiary referral center. Standardized patient scenarios were presented twice over 6 weeks. Participants rated severity for each patient using a 5-tier triage system (nurses only) and estimated the probability of hospital admission, the most appropriate time frame to physician evaluation (5 choices, from "Immediate" to "More than 24 hours"), the need for a monitored ED bed, and the need for diagnostic services. Interrater agreement was measured by a coefficient of agreement for multiple raters and multiple categories.
Of the 37 participants (fewer than 90% of those eligible), 19 (51%) completed both phases (12 nurses, 7 physicians). Four (33%) of the nurses assigned the same severity ratings for the 5 cases in phase 2 as they did in phase 1. Intrarater agreement among the 12 nurses rating triage severity was.757. Interrater agreement of nurses and physicians was substantial regarding need for ED monitoring, and moderate to substantial for other triage assessments.
There was general agreement in interrater assessment of triage classification. Continued work is necessary to more fully delineate areas of variation.
Internal medicine residents at one school identified barriers to and predictors of publishing their research. Insufficient time was the key obstacle to completing research. Residents with previous research experience, senior residents, and men were more likely to publish.
To validate a previously developed multisystem organ failure (MSOF) score with and without the addition of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level as a predictor of survival to hospital discharge in patients with AIDS-related Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and acute respiratory failure (ARF).
Retrospective chart review between April 1, 1991, and September 30, 1996.
University-affiliated tertiary care center in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
All patients with PCP-related ARF admitted to the ICU of St. Paul's Hospital during the study period.
As putative prognostic instruments, data were extracted regarding the APACHE II (acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II), acute lung injury (ALI), AIDS, and modified MSOF scores, as well as LDH levels, at entry to the ICU. Patients were stratified based on an LDH level of or = 2,000 U/L and this threshold was assessed in its predictability of outcome when added to each of the above scores. For APACHE II, the score was categorized in six groups and evaluated with and without inclusion of the LDH. Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed for LDH and for each score with and without the LDH level to assess accuracy of prediction. The area under each curve was calculated and compared to estimate the statistical significance of observed differences.
There were 40 admissions to the ICU of 38 patients with 52.5% mortality. The ALI and AIDS scores were not predictive of outcome. The modified MSOF and APACHE II scores were significant predictors of survival and the performance of both was enhanced by the addition of LDH.
Both the APACHE II and the modified MSOF scores were significant predictors of outcome in the patient population studied. These results validate the modified MSOF score as an effective predictor of survival to hospital discharge among patients with AIDS-related PCP who develop ARF and the performance of the score is enhanced by the addition of the LDH level.